The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
(LEAD) Leaders of S. Korea, Austria discuss ways to strengthen ties
SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz discussed ways to improve their countries' bilateral ties Thursday, along with their joint efforts to tackle various global issues, including the denuclearization of North Korea.
In a summit held at Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the two leaders also sought ways to expand the countries' economic cooperation.
India's Modi due in Seoul next week for summit with Moon
SEOUL -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit South Korea next week for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.
The Indian leader will be on a two-day state visit starting from next Thursday.
Ministry doubts report on planned N. Korea trip by Jim Rogers
SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign ministry on Thursday questioned a report on a plan by Jim Rogers, a well-known investor, to visit North Korea next month.
Earlier this week, a Seoul-based newspaper, The Kyunghyang Shinmun, said Rogers received an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and intends to visit the communist nation in March. It cited an unnamed "key government official."
N. Korea not responding to Seoul's proposal for joint celebration of March 1 Independence Movement
SEOUL -- North Korea has yet to respond to Seoul's proposal to hold a joint celebration to mark the centennial of the March 1 Independence Movement against Japan's colonial rule, a unification ministry official said Thursday.
Seoul earlier proposed its own plans apparently, including a venue and detailed programs to North Korea, in a follow-up to an agreement between their leaders in September to jointly celebrate the anniversary of the March 1, 1919, movement against Japan, which ruled the Korean Peninsula from 1910-1945.
(LEAD) (News Focus) Controversy flares over Seoul's recent ban on journalists bringing equipment on N.K. trip
SEOUL -- When the unification ministry banned reporters from bringing laptops on a trip to North Korea to cover inter-Korean events earlier this week, it said it had to do so because there was not enough time to discuss the matter with the United States.
The ministry, however, did not provide details, including why such discussions are necessary and whether reporters' laptops are subject to sanctions on the North and require a sanctions waiver to be brought into the communist nation.
(2nd LD) LG Uplus strikes deal to buy majority stake in cable TV operator CJ Hello
SEOUL -- South Korea's No. 3 mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. said Thursday that it has struck a deal to buy a majority stake in leading cable TV operator CJ Hello to bolster its presence in the media and content market.
The board of directors of LG Uplus approved the purchase of a 50 percent plus one share stake in CJ Hello from CJ ENM for 800 billion won (US$711 million). CJ ENM is a unit of food and entertainment conglomerate CJ.
FKI to pick new chief later this month
SEOUL -- The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), a major business lobby, said Thursday it plans to pick the organization's new chief later this month.
Since 2011, Huh Chang-soo has been serving as FKI chairman as the business lobby's search for a new chief has made no headway since a scandal involving the then-president rocked the nation in 2017.
Asiana Airlines suffers loss in 2018 on currency, fuel costs
SEOUL -- Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea's second-largest airline by sales, said Thursday it posted a net loss last year due to currency-related losses.
The net loss reached 10.4 billion won (US$9.24 million) last year, compared with a profit of 248 billion won a year earlier, the company said.
Special law takes effect Friday to tackle fine dust pollution
SEOUL -- A special law on fighting fine dust pollution will take effect in South Korea on Friday, establishing the legal grounds for local governments to impose mandatory restrictions on coal power plants and other heavy emitters of dust particles, the Ministry of Environment said Thursday.
The Special Act on Particulate Matter Reduction and Management, which was enacted and proclaimed in August last year, will also set the grounds for the establishment of a new government-civilian fine dust policy deliberation committee under the Prime Minister's Office, the ministry said.