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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 July 11, 2022

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

S. Korea, Ecuador to resume official talks for trade deal in 6 years

SEOUL -- South Korea and Ecuador will resume official talks on the formation of a bilateral free trade deal Monday after a six-year hiatus, Seoul's trade ministry said.

The two nations launched negotiations for the strategic economic cooperation agreement, a type of free trade pact, in 2016 and held five rounds of talks that year.

S. Korea, Central American development bank to expand joint loan facility

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance ministry and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), a regional development bank, agreed Monday to expand their joint loan program in a bid to bolster cooperation.

The agreement calls for raising the ceiling of the joint loan facility by US$200 million to $340 million, and extending its operation by three years until January 2025, according to the finance ministry.

S. Korea's foreign minister pays respects to former Prime Minister Abe

SEOUL -- South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin paid his respects to former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe on Monday.

He visited the Japanese embassy's public information and cultural center in downtown Seoul, mourned Abe's death and offered his condolences, three days after he was fatally shot during an election campaign speech.

Yoon suspends doorstepping due to COVID-19 outbreak in press room

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol suspended his daily morning Q&A sessions with reporters Monday due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the press room, officials said.

Doorstepping as Yoon arrives for work has become a daily routine, except on days when the president travels outside of the capital, allowing reporters to ask him questions on the pressing issues of the day.

S. Korea, U.S., Japan vow to bolster cooperation on N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The chief nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan reaffirmed their shared commitment to a stronger trilateral cooperation against North Korea's threat during their meeting in Indonesia last week, according to the State Department on Sunday.

Kim Gunn, Seoul's new special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, on Friday met his U.S. counterpart, Sung Kim, and Japan's Takehiro Funakoshi on the resort island of Bali, where the Group of 20 (G-20) foreign ministers' session was held.

N. Korea hails ties with China as 'unbreakable' on bilateral alliance treaty anniversary

SEOUL -- North Korea on Monday called its relations with China "unbreakable" as it marked the 61st anniversary of the signing of their alliance treaty.

An article carried by the Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, spoke highly of the bilateral relations while commemorating the "DPRK-China Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance" signed in 1961. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Yoon's approval rating falls below 40 pct amid turmoil at ruling party

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol's approval rating fell below the 40 percent mark in two months since he took office, a poll showed Monday, reflecting the negative sentiment amid an ongoing power struggle at the ruling party.

In the poll of 2,525 voters nationwide conducted by Realmeter from Monday to Friday last week, only 37 percent gave a positive assessment of his performance, while 57 percent disapproved of Yoon's handling of state affairs.

(LEAD) Exports up 4.7 pct during first 10 days of July

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports rose 4.7 percent on-year in the first 10 days of July on demand for chips and petroleum products, but the country suffered a trade deficit on soaring fuel costs, data showed Monday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$15.8 billion in the July 1-10 period, compared with $15.1 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Seoul stocks turn south amid weak trade data, woes over corporate earnings

SEOUL -- South Korean shares turned south late Monday morning as weak trade data raised concerns over economic slowdown and possibly lackluster corporate earnings.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had declined 2.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to trade at 2,348.35 points as of 11:34 a.m.

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