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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:00 May 17, 2023

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

Yoon, Canada PM hold summit on critical minerals, N. Korea

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a summit Wednesday on expanding cooperation on critical minerals and over North Korea's human rights situation.

Trudeau arrived in Seoul the previous day on a three-day official visit to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

S. Korea, Japan to hold additional working-level talks on Seoul's Fukushima inspection

SEOUL -- South Korea and Japan plan to hold additional working-level consultations on Wednesday to discuss details of Seoul's inspection of Tokyo's plan to discharge contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, according to diplomatic sources.

The virtual meeting of deputy director-general-level officials from Seoul and Tokyo will be held later in the day, the sources said. The two sides will go over details of the Seoul team's on-site inspection activities at the plant later this month.

Yoon calls for firm response to coercive diplomacy, nuclear threats

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol called on the world Wednesday to respond firmly to forces that attempt to change the status quo by force or use nuclear weapons for blackmail.

Yoon issued the call in congratulatory remarks for the opening of the 2023 Asian Leadership Conference hosted by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, saying such "regrettable forces" also regularly engage in coercive diplomacy and blackmail with weapons of mass destruction.

(News Focus) N. Korea's 1st military spy satellite launch likely be timed with key July anniv.: experts

SEOUL -- North Korea has announced the completion of preparations to mount its first military spy satellite on a rocket, but some experts predicted the North may launch it around a key anniversary in July to flex its military muscle with success.

The North's leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday inspected the country's non-permanent committee designed to prepare for the launch of a military reconnaissance satellite and approved of its "future action plan," the Korean Central News Agency reported Wednesday.

(News Focus) Samsung, LG likely to enter market-moving OLED supply deal

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co. reportedly sealed an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display deal, rekindling years of speculation over a partnership that is sure to bring in major changes to the TV industry.

LG Display will start supplying OLED TV panels to Samsung Electronics as early as the second quarter, Reuters reported Tuesday, with the goal of shipping 2 million units next year and up to 5 million units over the next few years. Initial supplies would be 77-inch and 83-inch panels, the report said.

(2nd LD) Airbnb to focus on promoting S. Korea as must-visit travel destination

SEOUL -- Home rental platform Airbnb Inc. will prioritize its focus on South Korea this year as it promotes the Asian country as a must-visit destination for travelers, a top executive said Wednesday.

Airbnb's co-founder and chief strategy officer (CSO) Nathan Blecharczyk also expressed hope to work with local governments across the country to boost tourism in South Korea and act as a positive conduit for the amplification of Korean culture around the world.

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Japanese envoy pledges to continue efforts in advancing Seoul-Tokyo ties

SEOUL -- Japan's top envoy to South Korea vowed Wednesday to continue efforts in advancing the ties between Seoul and Tokyo amid the resumption of so-called shuttle diplomacy between the neighbors in over a decade.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Seoul for a summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol earlier this month, marking the resumption of shuttle diplomacy, or regular mutual visits between the leaders, in 12 years.

Hyundai, Kia's Europe sales rise 1.1 pct in April

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Corp. said Wednesday their combined vehicle sales in Europe rose 1.1 percent in April from a year earlier.

Last month, Hyundai and Kia sold a total of 89,804 vehicles in Europe, up from 88,814 units a year earlier. But their combined market share fell to 9.3 percent in the European passenger car market from 10.7 percent during the same period, the companies said, citing data from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).

Seoul considering 150 won hike of subway fare in second half

SEOUL -- The Seoul city government is considering raising the city's subway fare by 150 won (US$0.11) this year in a step back from the initially planned 300 won hike in consideration of growing financial burdens on the public, sources said Wednesday.

The city had been pushing to increase the base subway fare in the city by 300 won in late April to cope with growing transportation budget deficits but put off the plan to the second half of this year mainly due to rising living costs burdening households

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