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MOSCOW, June 22, 2018 (News Wires) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in is in Moscow on a state visit intended to boost bilateral economic ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted Moon Friday in an elaborate Kremlin ceremony before they sat down for talks.

At the start of the negotiations, Putin emphasized that South Korea is one of Russia's top partners in the region and voiced hope that their two-way trade will expand. He vowed that Moscow would try to help settle tensions around North Korea.

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said the two presidents were set to discuss some prospective trilateral economic projects involving Russia and both Koreas.

Moscow has proposed building a railway and a natural gas pipeline linking Russia and the two Koreas, arguing that the endeavors could help promote peace and stability.

SEOUL, South Korea, June 22, 2018 (News Wires) - North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold temporary reunions of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War as they boost reconciliation efforts amid a diplomatic push to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.

The reunions will take place at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort from Aug. 20 to 26, Seoul's Unification Ministry said after a nine-hour meeting between Red Cross officials from the two sides.

It said the countries will each send 100 participants to the reunions. People with mobility problems will be allowed to bring a relative to help them.

Such temporary reunions are highly emotional as most wishing to take part are elderly people who are eager to see their loved ones before they die. The families were driven apart during the turmoil of the war.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed during a summit in April to hold the family reunions about Aug. 15, the anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's independence from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II in 1945.

Friday's talks between Red Cross officials at the Diamond Mountain resort were to arrange details of the reunions.

Kim and Moon met again in May. Their two summits have opened various channels of peace talks between the countries. The rivals recently agreed to restore cross-border military hotline communication channels and field joint teams in some events at the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.

"If we sternly separate ourselves from the unfortunate past and acquire a strong mindset for the new times, humanitarian cooperation between the North and South will flourish," North Korea delegate Pak Yong Il said at the start of the meeting. Park Kyung-seo, president of South Korea's Red Cross, expressed hope for talks that could "resolve the grief of our nation."

 

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Sweden won an opening World Cup game on Monday for the first time since 1958 and ended their worrying goal drought with a 1-0 victory over South Korea that was a must-win if they want to progress from a tricky-looking Group F.

After dominating the game but missing a string of chances, Sweden won a 65th-minute penalty when Kim Min-woo brought down Viktor Claesson in the box. Salvadoran referee Joel Aguilar initially waved the Swedes away, before being called to consult the Video Assistant Referee system.

In the second VAR-awarded penalty of the World Cup, Sweden's 33-year-old captain Andreas Granqvist stepped up to sweep the ball low and left of otherwise impressive goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo.

That fired up the hordes of yellow-clad Swedish fans, who had been fearful their team would misfire again after failing to score in any of their previous three games. Sweden had not won an opening game at any World Cup since 1958, when they were runners-up in their best performance to date.

The Asians actually began the game far brighter, pressing and harrying for the first 15 minutes against an initially sluggish-looking Sweden.

But the Scandinavians quickly found their rhythm, coping comfortably with Korea's attacks despite the absence of defender Victor Lindelof through illness.

The Swedes created a string of chances, most falling to Marcus Berg, who had one close-range side-foot shot spectacularly saved by Cho off his knee in the 21st minute.

As expected, both teams' single star players were at the heart of their best moves, the silky Son Heung-min busting a lung to try and drive Korea forward from the left flank, and the pacy Emil Forsberg constantly feeding Sweden's big frontmen.

Although not the most attractive of the World Cup games so far, there was a terrific atmosphere in the 42,300-strong crowd at the blue-and-white Nizhny Novgorod stadium next to a cathedral at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers.

Sweden next face Germany, while Korea take on in-form Mexico who pulled off a major shock by beating the world champions in their Group F opener. Few will give a chance to Korea, who have now only won one of their last 10 World Cup games.

NIZHNIY, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - South Korea's clash against Sweden is a must-win game if either team wants to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup, coach Shin Tae-yong admitted.

Ratcheting up the pressure before the Group F clash in Nizhny Novgorod, Shin Tae-yong said both sides had to target three points.

“For tomorrow's match, I think that we the Koreans and also for the Swedes, it's a match that must be won,” he said.

“I think both teams will be thinking that way.”

The Koreans and Swedes have been drawn against Germany, the reigning world champions, and Mexico, who have never failed to get out of the group stage at a World Cup.

Despite it being his first World Cup, the 49-year-old said he was relaxed, despite growing expectations in South Korea as the tournament approaches.

Shin Tae-yong took over as coach last year from German World Cup winner Uli Stielike as the country's qualification attempt for Russia teetered towards failure.

They eventually qualified but in far from impressive fashion.

Despite that, Shin Tae-yong says he is convinced fans will get behind his team, even though South Koreans are expecting to be vastly outnumbered in the stadium, with only 1,500 supporters expected to travel to Russia.

“Right know, I can say that I am quite calm, if we just do what we have prepared, we will have good results.”

Captain Ki Sung-yeung, who will be playing in his third World Cup, said he was "very excited."

“I hope that we will have good results,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sweden's captain Andreas Granqvist revealed the teams have been helped by sports counsellors in the run-up to the tournament.

“We are better prepared now than for previous tournaments,” he said.

 

CHICAGO, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Former US Women's Open winner Ryu So- yeon claimed her first title of 2018 with a closing five-under 67 at the LPGA Tour's Meijer Classic late Sunday.

The 27-year-old South Korean finished with a 21-under 267 total at Blythefield Country Club to beat runner-up Caroline Masson by two strokes and earn her sixth career win.

It is her first title since last year's NW Arkansas Championship. She also won the US Open in 2011 and followed that with a rookie of the year award in 2012.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under.

Third round leaders Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Ann Pace finished in a tie for fourth with three others at 17-under 271. Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 on Sunday after firing almost identical rounds of 64 in the third round.

Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70) also finished a 17 under.

US Women's Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn fired a tournament-record 62. Ariya made eagle on number eight after making birdie on five of her first seven holes. She added three more birdies on the back nine.

 

 

 

 

By the Gazette Editorial Board

Without allegedly receiving concrete and reciprocal pledges, US President Donald Trump is said to have offered major concessions to North Korea after his historical meeting with its leader Kim Jong-un.

Emerging from the meeting held in a luxury hotel in Singapore, Trump pledged to end joint military games with South Korea. He, moreover, described these games as ‘provocative’ and ‘tremendously expensive’.

He said he also hoped to “bring home” the 32,000 US troops stationed in South Korea at some point in the future, but acknowledged such a move was not “part of the equation right now”.

Trump seemed to have appreciated that North Korea, which had already begun dismantling a major missile engine testing site, needed time to conclude denuclearisation.

The world held its breath in agony when – weeks before the historical summit would take place – these war games provoked the ire of the North Korean leader and prompted him to threaten that he would not leave Pyongyang on June 12.

Retaliating, the US President tweeted that he had no wish any longer to hold such a summit as long as the North Koreans refused to stop using tough language and threats.

Fortunately, before little time had passed the world was encouraged to heave a deep sigh of relief by a statement tweeted by Trump that preparations to meet the North Korean leader were working out well.

Regardless of the contradictory assessments of Trump-Kim summit, the big success the two leaders seem to have achieved was the construction of mutual trust following their ceremonial hand-shake and their ‘constructive’ talks in Singapore.

Mr Trump told reporters that he trusted Mr Kim and that he believed the North Korean leader was sincere about his desire for denuclearisation.

In a press conference lasting more than an hour, Trump said the meetings went “better than anybody could have expected”. The US President also described his meeting with Kim as ‘going great’ and that they had a really fantastic meeting.

Kim had also asserted that Trump was different from his predecessors, who were not sincere in their peaceful approach to Pyongyang.

Kim would not praise Trump and his qualities without that kind of mutual trust between them. Reciprocating, Trump praised Kim as “very talented”.

Building trust with each other among the world’s leaders can make the world less volatile and more co-operative. Trust is the catalyst of successful diplomacy.

 

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