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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:21 December 05, 2011

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

Over 40 pct of salaried workers, self-employed, not paying income tax

SEOUL -- About four of every 10 salaried workers and self-employed residents of South Korea did not pay taxes on their income last year thanks to diverse tax cuts and other benefits, data showed Monday.

Of the 20.39 million people subject to taxation on their earnings last year, 8.39 million, or 41.1 percent, were found not to have paid income tax to the government, according to the data by the National Tax Service.

'Donation angel' posthumously awarded presidential citation

SEOUL -- President Lee Myung-bak posthumously awarded a presidential citation Monday to a late Chinese food delivery man known for regularly donating part of his small salary to charity as he hosted a lunch for hundreds of volunteer workers.

Kim Woo-soo died in September at age 54 after his motorcycle crashed into a car while on a delivery run. Kim had been known for donating some 50,000 won to 100,000 won every month out of about 700,000 won (US$600) in monthly wages to help needy children.

Listed firms' debt repayment ability improves this year

SEOUL -- South Korean listed companies saw their ability to repay short-term liabilities improve slightly in the first nine months of this year from the end of last year, helped by a rise in assets, data showed Monday.

The average current ratio of 612 of 663 firms listed on the Seoul main bourse reached 115.13 percent as of end-September, up 1.25 percentage points from the end of December 2010, according to the data by the Korea Exchange and the Korea Listed Companies Association.

Japan to return looted ancient Korean books Tuesday

SEOUL -- Japan will this week return 1,200 ancient books it looted from Korea during its 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula, fulfilling an earlier pledge aimed at improving relations between the countries, a Seoul official said Monday.

The books will arrive Tuesday at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on two separate flights. From there, they will be transported to a Seoul museum, the foreign ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Air Force trainer jet crashes during drill

SEOUL -- An Air Force trainer jet crashed on Monday during an exercise, killing both pilots aboard, officials said.

The T-59 trainer jet for the Air Force's 16th Fighter Wing crashed around 2:27 p.m. Monday near the unit at Yecheon, North Gyeongsang Province, about 250 kilometers southeast of Seoul, according to the officials.

Presidential office to scrap overseas PR secretary, create foreign media spokesman

SEOUL -- The presidential office is to scrap the post of a secretary handling overseas PR affairs, and instead appoint a spokesman for foreign media as part of a reorganization of the top office, an official said Monday.

Under the reorganization scheduled to take effect next week, the presidential spokesman's office will take over overseas PR duties, while a foreign media spokesman will handle day-to-day issues related to overseas media, spokesman Park Jeong-ha said.

S. Korea's trade tops US$1 tln mark

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade volume exceeded the US$1 trillion mark for the first time in its history this year, becoming the world's ninth country ever to achieve the milepost, the government said Monday.

The country's exports came to $515.3 billion on a customs-cleared basis as of Monday with imports amounting to $485.5 billion, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The provisional figure marks an over 12-percent increase from the previous yearly record of $891.6 billion posted in 2010.

Samsung denies reports of Galaxy apps collecting private data

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. refuted on Monday allegations that its Galaxy smartphones carry applications that collect personal data, such as contact numbers and location information.

"Samsung never collected or used private information of smartphone users. All applications provided by Samsung have no ability to collect private data," the company said in a statement.

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