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Yonhap News Summary

13:30 December 04, 2019

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

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(LEAD) Defense chief calls for firm readiness posture against N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo called Wednesday for maintaining a staunch defense posture, his office said, as North Korea and the United States traded thinly veiled threats against each other amid stalled nuclear negotiations.

Jeong made the call during a biannual meeting of top commanders held at the ministry compound in Seoul. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Park Han-ki and around 150 high-level military officers and government officials from related agencies attended the meeting.

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N. Korean leader visits Mt. Paekdu ahead of year-end deadline for nuke talks

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un rode a horse to visit Mount Paekdu, considered the birthplace of his late father, for the second time in less than two months, calling for a fight against "imperialists" and "class enemies," state media reported on Wednesday.

His trip to the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula came as North Korea and the United States are ramping up pressure on each other to make more concessions as the year-end deadline Pyongyang set for Washington to come up with new proposals in their denuclearization talks is drawing closer.

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LEAD) Trump debates need for U.S. troop presence in S. Korea

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that it is up for debate whether keeping American troops stationed in South Korea is in the U.S. national security interest.

Trump's comment to reporters in London is one of the strongest indications the U.S. president could consider reducing troops in the South if Seoul refuses to accept Washington's demands on defense cost-sharing.

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(LEAD) Trump hints U.S. may use military force against N.K. if necessary

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump hinted Tuesday that the United States may use military force against North Korea if necessary, after Pyongyang warned that an end-of-year deadline for the two countries' denuclearization negotiations is drawing near.

Trump revived the threat of military action as negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled over how to match the North's denuclearization steps with U.S. concessions.

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Court rules in favor of FTC over record fine against Qualcomm

SEOUL -- A Seoul court ruled in favor of South Korea's antitrust regulator Wednesday, saying its decision to impose a record fine on U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. was justifiable.

The ruling is a setback for Qualcomm, which appealed the Fair Trade Commission (FTC)'s 2016 decision to fine the company 1.03 trillion won (US$865 million) for abusing its dominant position in mobile communication markets.

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Chinese FM Wang Yi to arrive in Seoul for talks on bilateral ties, peninsula issue

SEOUL -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was set to arrive in Seoul on Wednesday for talks with his South Korean counterpart on his first trip here since bilateral ties soured in 2016 over the installation of a U.S. missile defense system on the peninsula.

His visit to Seoul came amid lingering tensions between the two countries over Seoul's decision to host the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, Washington's campaign against Chinese telecom titan Huawei and its moves to deploy longer-range missiles to East Asia.

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Hyundai to invest 61 tln won in core, mobility biz by 2025

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest carmaker by sales, said Wednesday it will invest 61 trillion won (US$51 billion) in its core automobile and mobility businesses by 2025.

The decision is designed to enhance the competitiveness of its existing car manufacturing business and generate new business opportunities by investing in future mobility technologies, Hyundai said in a regulatory filing.

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U.S. flies surveillance plane over S. Korea: aviation tracker

SEOUL -- The United States flew a naval surveillance aircraft over the Korean Peninsula, an aviation tracker said Wednesday, the latest in a series of flights of its aircraft to monitor North Korea amid concern over the North's military moves.

The U.S. navy's P-3C maritime surveillance plane was spotted flying over the Korean Peninsula at 22,000 feet, Aircraft Spots said on its Twitter account without specifying the exact time of the operation. It also did not upload photos showing the flight route.

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Biegun says U.S. won't give up on nuclear talks with N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said Tuesday that the United States will not give up on negotiating with North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, apparently responding to Pyongyang's demands that Washington meet an end-of-year deadline.

Biegun made the remark at a yearend function organized by the Korea Foundation in Washington, hours after North Korea warned it is up to the U.S. what "Christmas gift" it will get.

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FM says S. Korea seeks to be a 'force of cooperation' between U.S. and China

SEOUL -- South Korea is seeking to be "a force for cooperation" between the United States and China, not being caught in between the two in terms of its national interest as some may claim, amid a growing rivalry between the two major powers, Seoul's top diplomat said Wednesday.

"Our role is to be a force for cooperation rather than competition between the U.S. and China," Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told a forum on Northeast Asia policy in Seoul.

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More Americans consider N. Korea an enemy: poll

SEOUL -- A growing number of Americans view North Korea as an enemy, a recent survey showed, as nuclear negotiations between the two countries remained stalled.

The poll, carried out by the London-based research data group YouGov and the Economist, showed that 56 percent of Americans consider North Korea to be an enemy of the United States, up from 51 percent in August.


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