≡ Moon Says Prime Minister Entrusted With Greater Role In Summit Diplomacy
President Moon Jae-in says he has delegated more responsibilities to Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon amid growing demand for diplomacy as the country's status in the international community has risen.
At a Cabinet meeting this morning, President Moon said Lee's ongoing overseas trip to South and Central Asia as well as the Middle East is part of a "two-top" summit diplomacy strategy common in many other countries.
He added that it has become difficult for the president alone to handle the demand for summit diplomacy.■[2019.07.16]
≡ Vice Unification Minister In Tokyo For Talks On N. Korea Issues
The unification ministry says Vice Minister Suh Ho will sit down with Japanese officials during his trip there this week to discuss North Korea's nuclear issue.
Suh left for Tokyo this morning to deliver a keynote speech at a forum on peace on the Korean Peninsula.
A ministry official told reporters today that the two sides will exchange their stance on the North and discuss cooperation plans without disclosing who Suh will meet.
There is speculation the vice minister could hold talks with Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of Asian affairs at Tokyo's foreign ministry.■[2019.07.16]
≡ US, China Trade Negotiators To Talk Again This Week
Top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are due to speak by telephone in the coming days.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters in Washington on Monday that they expected to have another "principal-level" call this week, but no face-to-face talks have been scheduled.
Mnuchin said, "To the extent we make significant progress, there's a good chance we'll go there later."
Washington and Beijing have hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than 360 billion dollars in two-way trade.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month agreed to resume trade talks after they collapsed in early May.
Trump insinuated in a tweet last week that China was starting to feel the negative impacts of the U.S. tariffs.■[2019.07.16]
≡ Foreign Residents Required To Subscribe To State Health Insurance Plan
Starting today, foreign residents in the country are required to subscribe to the public health insurance program.
The National Health Insurance Service said under a revised act which has gone into effect Tuesday, all foreign residents who are staying in South Korea for more than six months must join the state insurance plan.
Their minimum monthly premium has been set at 113,050 won with the exact amount to be determined based on income and assets.
Health authorities said those who fail to pay the monthly fees will have to take on the entire medical bill themselves until all their dues are paid.
The mandatory subscription will be temporarily waived for students but they too will be required to pay for state health insurance from March 2021.■[2019.07.16]