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Yonhap News Summary

11:50 January 16, 2020

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

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(LEAD) S. Korea seeks to find space within N.K. sanctions regime: Seoul official

WASHINGTON -- South Korea is seeking to find space within the international sanctions regime to conduct inter-Korean cooperation projects, Seoul's top nuclear envoy said Wednesday.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, made the remark after arriving in Washington for talks with his American counterpart, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.

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Trump likens N. Korea talks to 'beautiful game of chess'

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he views the on-again, off-again nuclear talks with North Korea as a "beautiful game of chess."

Trump made the remark during a White House signing ceremony for a phase-one trade deal between the United States and China, giving Beijing credit for "helping us with North Korea."

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(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. wrap up defense cost talks without breakthrough

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- Differences still remain between South Korea and the United States over how to share the cost of stationing American troops in Korea, the foreign ministry said Thursday, after wrapping up the latest round of negotiations in Washington.

The two teams, led by Jeong Eun-bo on the South Korean side and James DeHart on the U.S. side, held their sixth round of talks on Tuesday and Wednesday (U.S. time) to renew the countries' Special Measures Agreement (SMA). The previous SMA expired at the end of last year.

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YouTube appears to have shut down N. Korean propaganda channel

SEOUL -- YouTube appears to have banned a North Korean propaganda channel from the video-sharing platform, according to the website.

The YouTube channel of one of the North's major propaganda outlets, Uriminzokkiri, was not accessible Thursday. The channel carried North Korean media reports.

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Foreign ownership of Korean stocks hits over 13-year high

SEOUL -- Foreign ownership of South Korean stocks reached an over 13-year high as they snatched up chipmakers and other market heavyweights, invigorated by the simmering economic recovery and eased concerns over a trade row between the United States and China, data showed Thursday.

As of Tuesday, foreign investors held 586 trillion won (US$505.6 billion) worth of local stocks traded on the main bourse, accounting for 38.9 percent of the total market cap of 1,507 trillion won, according to the data released by the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA).

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Law aimed at ensuring workplace safety for contractor workers goes into effect

SEOUL -- An industrial safety law aimed at better ensuring safe workplaces for irregular contract workers went into effect Thursday, after public anger heightened over the 2018 death of a young subcontract worker at a thermal power plant.

The Kim Yong-gyun bill was passed in December 2018, named after a 24-year-old subcontract worker killed in a conveyor belt accident at the power plant in Taean, about 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

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Kora's auto exports down 1.9 pct in 2019 amid slowdown

SEOUL -- South Korea's auto exports moved down 1.9 percent in 2019 from a year earlier amid a global economic slowdown and a lack of new models from local producers, data showed Friday.

South Korean carmakers shipped a combined 2.4 million units overseas last year, compared with 2.45 million units a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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Vehicle registrations up 2 pct in 2019

SEOUL -- The number of registered vehicles in South Korea rose 2 percent to reach 24 million last year driven by increased purchases of lower-emission and imported models, the transport ministry said Thursday.

Auto registrations came to 23.68 million at the end of December, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
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