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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:40 January 18, 2016

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

Fresh U.S. sanctions show Iran's close ballistic missile cooperation with North Korea

WASHINGTON -- Fresh U.S. sanctions over Iran's ballistic missile program showed Sunday that Tehran has worked closely with North Korea to move its missile program forward.

The Treasury Department sanctioned 11 individuals and entities for involvement in procurement on behalf of Iran's ballistic missile program. The sanctions were a punishment for Iran's test-firing in October of a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead in violation of a U.N. ban.

(Yonhap Interview) S. Korea to boost its missile defense program: DAPA chief

SEOUL -- South Korea's arms procurement agency will concentrate efforts on upgrading the country's Patriot missiles and developing long-range ground-to-air missiles to counter North Korea's threats, its chief said Monday.

North Korea declared that it successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test on Jan. 6. The outside world suspects the test might have been based on a conventional atomic bomb, or a boosted fission bomb at best, but nevertheless the recent test showed the communist country is advancing its nuclear weapons program.

Park vows to join signature-collecting campaign over bills' delay

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye pledged Monday to join an ongoing signature-collecting campaign calling for parliamentary approval for a set of bills meant to revitalize the economy.

Park said she hopes that the National Assembly would heed calls from the public and business organizations and quickly pass the bills.

(LEAD) Gov't to operate cultural belt in full swing this year

SEOUL -- The government said Monday it will kick the operation of its "cultural convergence belt" into high gear this year while rendering full support to startups that have moved into the government-run cultural venture complex in central Seoul.

The government will also intensively cultivate the country's promising cultural content, such as computer games and webtoons, and build a platform for circulating the country's "killer content" worldwide.

N. Korea scattering propaganda leaflets into South daily: Defense Ministry

SEOUL -- North Korea has been scattering propaganda leaflets into South Korea almost daily since the operation began early last week, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

"Since the first related news report, the North Korean military is spreading leaflets on almost a daily basis," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a regular briefing.

S. Korea's stock day trading doubles in 2015

SEOUL -- Day trading of shares in South Korea doubled in 2015 from a year earlier as overall stock transactions rose and mobile gadgets boosted convenience for investors, the bourse operator said Monday.

The Korea Exchange (KRX) said day trading came to 119.4 billion shares worth 658 trillion won (US$524.3 billion) in 2015 on the benchmark KOSPI and the tech-laden KOSDAQ markets.

(News Focus) Korea Inc. off to shaky start amid slumping exports

SEOUL -- The South Korean economy is getting off to a shaky start this year as exports remain in the doldrums and consumer spending loses ground in the face of China's stock rout, North Korea's nuclear test and other negatives, experts said Monday.

The rough start belies what many see as a government effort to draw a rosy picture of Asia's fourth-largest economy in an attempt to boost the confidence of consumers and other economic players.

(Yonhap Feature) S. Korean firms in Kaesong complex wary of N.K. nuke test impact

SEOUL -- Located about a 10-minute drive from the tense inter-Korean border, a joint industrial complex in North Korea once again stands at the center of repeated but unwanted attention following the North's latest nuclear test.

More than 120 South Korean firms running factories at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North's border city of the same name remain skittish over repercussions by the North's abrupt test of a hydrogen bomb on their business activities.

(Yonhap Feature) Students' gift throws lifeline to specialty burger shop

SEOUL -- The delectable smell of stir-frying minced meat and vegetables fills the air of a small, cozy burger shop in front of Korea University run by "Uncle Lee Young-chul," effectively driving out the strong odors of the newly renovated space.

"I never imagined finding myself standing in front of this iron fry top again this soon when I shut my business down last summer," Lee said.

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