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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:30 September 17, 2021

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

Unification minister promises support for humanitarian aid to N. Korea despite missile launches

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young said Friday his office will continue to cooperate with the United States to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea despite tensions over Pyongyang's recent missile launch.

Lee made the remark at an event to mark the 2018 Pyongyang Declaration on Sept. 19, in which President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shared the view that the peninsula must be turned into a region free from nuclear weapons.

S. Korea vows to strive for world peace, prosperity on 30th anniv. of UN accession

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday underscored its commitment to further developing the partnership with the United Nations to promote world peace and prosperity, as it marked the 30th anniversary of its accession to the international organization.

The commitment came amid the South's dogged pursuit of lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, which has been eclipsed by North Korea's recent military activities, including ballistic and cruise missile launches.

Moon says two Koreas' accession to U.N. 30 years ago was 1st step for cooperation, but still long way to go

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in issued a message Friday on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of South and North Korea becoming members of the United Nations together.

"Thirty years ago, the two Koreas were admitted as members of the United Nations," he wrote on his social media accounts.

Fitch cuts 2021 growth outlook for S. Korea to 4 pct

SEOUL -- Global credit appraiser Fitch Ratings said Friday it has cut its 2021 growth outlook for the South Korean economy to 4 percent due mainly to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

The latest outlook is a 0.5 percentage-point drop from its earlier estimate of 4.5 percent growth for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Satellite images suggest N. Korea expanding uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon nuclear complex: CNN

SEOUL -- North Korea appears to be expanding a uranium enrichment facility at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, in a possible sign that it is gearing up to ramp up production of weapons-grade fissile material, CNN has reported.

Construction appears to be under way at the uranium enrichment plant to expand its floor space by about 1,000 square meters, CNN reported Thursday (U.S. time), citing commercial satellite images it obtained earlier this week.

Rights watchdog expresses concerns over ruling party's envisioned media bill

SEOUL -- The state human rights watchdog body on Friday expressed concerns over the ruling party's push to pass a media bill centered on strengthening punitive damages against false reporting, saying the bill in its current state could undermine press freedom.

The ruling Democratic Party has been pushing for an amendment to the Press Arbitration Act to require an up to fivefold increase in penalties for media outlets spreading false or fraudulent news reports. Amid fierce protest from opposition parties and press-related organizations, the bill has been put on hold from voting until later this month.

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