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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 June 25, 2020

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

S. Korean, U.S. defense chiefs urge N. Korea to abide by peace agreements

SEOUL -- Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Thursday urged North Korea to abide by landmark 2018 agreements the communist nation signed for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

In a joint statement marking the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War, Jeong and Esper also said they will continue to back diplomacy for the complete denuclearization of North Korea and reaffirmed their commitment to maintain a firm combined defense posture.

Pompeo cites 3 S. Korean companies in case against Huawei

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday used the example of three South Korean companies to build his case against doing business with Chinese tech giant Huawei.

In a statement, Pompeo said the world is "waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state," referring to U.S. allegations that Beijing could use Huawei's equipment for espionage.

New virus cases dip to below 30; concerns lingering over cluster infections, imported cases

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell back to below 30 Thursday, but the country is still on alert over another wave of virus outbreak amid continued rises in cluster infections and imported cases.

The country added 28 cases, including 23 local infections, raising the total caseload to 12,563, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

N. Korea's decision to suspend military action plans against S. Korea 'positive' sign: official

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent decision to suspend military action plans against South Korea is a "positive sign," a unification ministry official said Thursday, hoping that it could serve as a starting point for easing tensions and improving cross-border relations.

Kim held a preliminary meeting of the ruling party's Central Military Commission on Tuesday and decided to call off military action plans that North Korea had taken against South Korea in anger over the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the communist nation.

U.S. says N. Korea has failed to take action for past support of terrorism

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department accused North Korea on Wednesday of failing to take action for its past support of international terrorism.

In its annual Country Reports on Terrorism, the department said the U.S. redesignated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in November 2017 after determining that the North Korean government "repeatedly" provided support for acts of international terrorism.

(2nd LD) S. Korea to impose new tax on gains from all financial investment from 2022

SEJONG -- South Korea plans to start levying a new tax on consolidated gains from all financial investment in 2022, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Thursday.

In addition, the government plans to levy a capital gains tax on stock investment gains surpassing 20 million won (US$16,632) beginning in 2023, Hong said.

Cheong Wa Dae defends Incheon airport's employment plan against public outcry

SEOUL -- The office of President Moon Jae-in countered fierce public criticism Thursday over Incheon International Airport Corp.'s decision to grant regular employment status to 1,902 contract and part-time security officers working at its facilities.

Hwang Deok-soon, senior secretary to Moon for jobs, said the move is about enhancing "fairness in the labor market, a bit different from fairness in the hiring process."

Seoul stocks extend losses late Thursday morning on virus woes

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded lower late Thursday morning mainly due to renewed worries about a surge in virus cases in major economies.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dipped 40.38 points, or 1.87 percent, to reach 2,121.13 as of 11:20 a.m.

(News Focus) Trade spat with Japan wakeup call for S. Korea to stand on its own

SEOUL -- For the past decades, the relationship between South Korea and Japan went through ups and downs, but the two Asian neighbors managed to maintain close ties at least on the economic side while haggling over their shared history.

But Japan's unprecedented export restrictions against South Korea last year took Seoul aback, revealing what it should do -- reduce its reliance on parts and materials from Japan.

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