≡ S. Korea, US Seeking High-Level Talks On Defense Cost Sharing: Yonhap
South Korea and the United States are reportedly seeking to hold high-level talks to renew a cost-sharing agreement for American troops stationed here after failing to reach a deal in a series of negotiations last year.
Yonhap News quoted a senior government official as saying on Thursday that when negotiations are not going well, the basic rule is to have higher-level officials sit down for talks.
Asked whether South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump could exchange views on the issue, the official is reported to have said "all possibilities are open."
The two sides held 10 rounds of talks last year but struggled to narrow gaps on how much South Korea should contribute to the cost.
Washington wants Seoul to significantly increase its share from the current 960 billion won a year.■
≡ Pompeo: Hopeful For 'Substantial Progress' On Denuclearizing N. Korea
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is hopeful that the U.S. and North Korea will make "substantial progress" on "final and full denuclearization" of the North.
Speaking to Fox News on Friday, Pompeo also expressed hopes of getting a second summit between the leaders of the two countries this year.
He said Washington and Pyongyang are moving forward in their conversations, while declining to elaborate on details.
Pompeo added that "fully denuclearized North Korea as verified by international experts" remains to be the core proposition of the Trump administration.■
≡ 70 Teams Apply To Remodel Gwanghwamun Square: Seoul City
Seoul city says a total of 70 teams from 17 different countries have entered an international competition to remodel the Gwanghwamun Square.
38 teams from Korea and 32 teams from abroad submitted their ideas.
The city government announced last April a plan to expand the square more than three times its size by 2021.
The winner of the competition will be announced on January 21st.■