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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:22 August 08, 2013

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

Tough policy causes more money lenders to shut down

SEOUL -- More money lenders in South Korea are closing down their businesses as the country's regulator has imposed a stiffer policy on the industry, data showed Thursday.

The number of money lenders registered with the regulatory office here stood at 9,910 at the end of July, down 9 percent from 10,895 tallied as of end-December last year, according to the Consumer Loan Finance Association.

(LEAD) N. Korea doubles floor space of uranium facility in Yongbyon

WASHINGTON -- North Korea appears to have doubled the floor size of its uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon, apparently in line with its stated plans to advance related technology and production, a U.S. research center said Wednesday, citing recent satellite imagery.

The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said the North seems to have expanded a building in the fuel fabrication complex that houses a gas centrifuge plant for uranium enrichment.

S. Korea preps for talks with N. Korea over Kaesong park

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday began its preparations in earnest for a fresh round of talks next week with North Korea on the revival of a suspended joint industrial park in the communist country.

The move came a day after Pyongyang made a surprise proposal that working-level officials from both sides met in the North Korean border town of Kaesong on Aug. 14 to reopen the factory zone. Seoul agreed to the overture hours later, paving the way for its normalization.

Samsung bets on automotive semiconductor chips

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of memory chips, is taking a fresh look at the automotive semiconductor chip market, as global automakers are rushing to produce high-tech vehicles such as electric cars equipped with infotainment systems and wireless networking, industry sources said Thursday.

Samsung believes chip demand from automakers will grow fast as cars of late are built with high-end infotainment systems, powertrain control systems, in-vehicle networking, high safety levels and high fuel-efficiency, the sources said.

S. Korea mulling suit against U.S. for anti-dumping tariffs

SEOUL -- The South Korean government said Thursday that is considering filing a legal suit with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the U.S. government for imposing heavy anti-dumping duties on South Korean washing machines.

The move follows a request from South Korean washer makers, whose shipments to the U.S. have been subject to punitive duties since January.

shipbuilder-frigate deal
Daewoo Shipbuilding bags US$470 mln frigate deal from Thailand

SEOUL -- Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., a South Korean shipbuilder, said Thursday that it has clinched a US$470 million deal to build a frigate for the Royal Thai Navy.

Under the deal with the Thai government, Daewoo Shipbuilding will deliver the vessel by August 2018, it said.

Gov't unveils steps against music charts rigging

SEOUL -- The government said Thursday it will stop record labels from unjustly charging copyright fees if they are found to have massively purchased digital singles through brokers to manipulate music charts and receive more money.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced this and other measures as part of efforts to root out the malpractice of rigging charts, which is prevalent in the local pop music industry.

China-Japan views toward each other hit 9-year low: survey

BEIJING -- More than 90 percent of Chinese and Japanese people hold unfavorable views of each other's nations, a survey found Thursday, as the two countries are in a territorial standoff over a set of rocky islands in the East China Sea.

Results of the annual survey, jointly sponsored by state-run media China Daily and a Japanese think-tank Genron NPO, are the worst in nine years, the China Daily reported in its front-page article.

Detained CJ chief asks court to temporarily release him

SEOUL -- The chief of food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group made a request Thursday that his confinement be temporarily suspended, citing his poor health conditions, according to court officials.

Chairman Lee Jay-hyun, who is charged with creating massive slush funds, has been behind bars pending trial since July 1, shortly after a Seoul court approved the prosecution's request for an arrest warrant for the country's 10th-richest man.

S. Korea's drug watchdog halts sales of anti-diarrheal meds

SEOUL -- South Korea's drug watchdog said Thursday that it has temporally suspended sales of several dozen anti-diarrheal medications, the first such move in more than two decades.

The move by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety comes as Dongwha Pharm was found to have used a combination of two different strains of lactobacillus in making Lacteol than the one that was originally approved by the government in 1988.

Korean-American diplomat to start work in Seoul's foreign ministry

SEOUL -- A Korean-American diplomat will start her one-year stint at the South Korean foreign ministry this month as part of a Seoul-Washington diplomat exchange program, officials said Thursday.

The 37-year-old diplomat, Booyeon Lee Allen, will replace Dewey Moore, who was dispatched to the Seoul ministry a year ago as the first U.S. diplomat working in the local foreign ministry under the joint program.

No special pardons marking Liberation Day

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye is unlikely to issue special pardons marking next week's Liberation Day, an official said Thursday.

"I haven't heard of any talk of special pardons in any meetings so far," a presidential official told reporters, pointing out that it takes a lot of work to issue pardons and there would have been preparations already under way if Park had wanted to exercise her clemency power.

S. Korea closes underperforming section in Yellow Sea FEZ

SEJONG -- South Korea on Thursday de-designated a special district at a free economic zone (FEZ), signaling the start of a plan to overhaul its FEZs that might lead to de-designation or even closure of additional zones.

The FEZ committee decided to de-designate the Korea-China district in the Yellow Sea FEZ, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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