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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:28 January 02, 2020

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

(LEAD) Ministry closely watches possibility of N. Korea's message on S. Korea

SEOUL -- The unification ministry said Thursday it is closely watching whether North Korea will announce a separate message on inter-Korean relations after leader Kim Jong-un made no mention of South Korea in his recent remarks at a key party meeting.

In a four-day ruling party plenary meeting held until Tuesday, Kim offered policy directions on key domestic and diplomatic issues, including his stance on denuclearization talks with the United States.

New deputy FM heads to U.S. for bilateral talks

SEOUL -- Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gunn departed for the United States on Thursday for his first meeting with his U.S. counterpart since assuming the post last month, a foreign ministry official here said.

Kim is expected to hold talks with David Stilwell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, in Washington, on Friday (local time), and discuss various issues of mutual concern, the official told reporters.

Korea's economy expected to show signs of recovery this year: finance minister

SEJONG -- South Korea's economy is expected to show signs of recovery this year on the back of a trade truce between the United States and China, and a rebound of the global economy, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Thursday.

"This year, the nation's economy is expected to show signs of an economic recovery," Hong said at the ministry's staff meeting for the new year earlier in the day.

(LEAD) Moon cites prosecution reform, fair society as top policy agenda in 2020

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in made a commitment Thursday to complete prosecution reform and other measures aimed at promoting social justice this year, addressing a meeting with business leaders and representatives from various fields.

He vowed "clear change" for South Korea on the basis of what he says is a number of achievements made during his presidency that began in May 2017.

(2nd LD) Prosecutors indict dozens of lawmakers over 'fast-track' scuffle

SEOUL -- Prosecutors indicted dozens of ruling and opposition party officials Thursday for their scuffle at the National Assembly in April last year over placing a few reform bills on a "fast track."

In April, the ruling Democratic Party (DP), in collaboration with minor opposition parties, including the center-right Bareunmirae Party, fast-tracked several reform bills, including one aimed at setting up an independent unit to investigate corruption by high-ranking officials.

(4th LD) Moon pins hopes on new justice minister's role in prosecution reform

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in held out hope Thursday for the role of his new justice minister, Choo Mi-ae, conferring a letter of appointment on her and filling the post that had been vacant for more than two months.

"I hope you will spearhead prosecution reform works well," Moon told Choo during a Cheong Wa Dae ceremony.

Seoul shares sink 1 pct on 1st trading day of 2020

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks dropped more than 1 percent Thursday in the first trading session of the new year as investors continued to cash in gains from a recent rally. The South Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 22.50 points, or 1.02 percent, to end at 2,010.

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