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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:52 January 19, 2016

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

Online petition emerges to oppose California's plan to teach students about 'comfort women'

LOS ANGELES -- An online petition has emerged to oppose the Californian government's plan to teach high school students about Japan's wartime sexual slavery, claiming that victims were "well paid prostitutes."

Right-wing Japanese nationalists are suspected of involvement in the petition under way at the change.org online petition site to demand California's Department of Education write "comfort women were well paid prostitutes, sold their service to U.S. Army as well."

U.S. experts call on China to press N.K. to restart denuclearization talks

WASHINGTON -- The best way to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff is for China to put pressure on Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table and for the United States to drop its preconditions for restarting denuclearization talks with Pyongyang, American experts said Monday.

Three experts at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation -- Philip Coyle, Robert Gard and Greg Terryn -- made the point in a joint article contributed to the Hill newspaper, stressing that the problem should be addressed now before it's too late.

Opposition party chief vows to resign soon

SEOUL -- A main opposition party leader said Tuesday that he will resign from his post as soon as possible, following a factional feud within the embattled party in the lead-up to the general elections in April.

"I will resign from the chairman post as soon as the new party leadership is settled," Moon Jae-in, chairman of the Minjoo Party of Korea, told reporters at the National Assembly. "I believe this is the choice that would benefit the party the most at the moment."

(News Focus) S. Korean firms train sights on post-sanctions Iran

SEOUL -- South Korean companies, led by construction firms, refiners and automakers, are expecting to expand their presence in Iran after economic sanctions on Tehran are lifted, industry sources said Tuesday.

Over the weekend, the U.N. nuclear agency said that Iran has met all of its commitments under last summer's landmark nuclear deal to crimp Tehran's ability to make atomic weapons. For Iran, the move lifts Western economic sanctions that have been in place for years, unlocking access to frozen assets and resuming energy exports.

Iran's Mellat Bank moving to normalize Seoul branch soon

SEOUL -- The South Korean branch of Iran's Mellat Bank is moving to normalize operations as soon as possible following the landmark nuclear accord that helped to lift international sanctions on the oil-rich country, the branch chief said Tuesday.

Seoul said Sunday that it will step up "reciprocal cooperation" with Iran as countries around the world move to lift economic and financial sanctions against Tehran. Seoul citing allegations that Mellat had violated a UN Security Council Resolution had restricted the bank's operations from 2010 onwards.

S. Korea seeks criminal probe into Volkswagen's recall plan

SEOUL -- South Korea's environment ministry requested the prosecution Tuesday to investigate the local unit of Volkswagen over its plan to recall diesel-powered vehicles sold here, claiming the measure is insufficient.

The ministry said that it took the action after determining that Volkswagen's recall plan submitted on the government-set deadline of Jan. 6 is "insufficient."

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