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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:21 January 21, 2016

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

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S. Korea puts KF-X fighter jet project in full swing

SEOUL -- South Korea officially kicked off its multi-billion-dollar project Thursday to produce home-made fighter jets over the next decade.

Under the Korean Fighter Experimental (KF-X) project by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, contractor airplane maker Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) will come up with six units of a home-grown prototype fighter by 2021.

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S. Korea to focus on structural, labor reform to fuel growth in 2015

SEJONG -- South Korea will focus on pushing forward much needed structural reforms this year in order to create quality jobs for the younger generation and strive to revive domestic demand and exports as part of overall economic policy plan, the government said Thursday.

"We will do our best to create jobs by producing tangible results of structural reform and economic renovation," the finance ministry said in a follow-up of the 2016 economy policy plan released last week.

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S. Korean startups' exports expand 2.5 pct in 2015

SEOUL -- Exports by South Korea's startup businesses grew over 2 percent in 2015 despite unfavorable overseas market conditions, data showed Thursday.

Local startups exported US$17.12 billion worth of products last year, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, showed the data by the Korea International Trade Association.

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Samsung starts blood donation drive amid low reserves

SEOUL -- South Korea's top conglomerate the Samsung Group said Thursday it has kicked off an inhouse blood donation campaign in an effort to help the country tide over a shortage of blood reserves.

The campaign will be carried out at key affiliates' major facilities across the nation until the end of February, with around 20,000 staff members expected to join it, the group said.

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S. Korea committed to carrying out stimulus measures to vitalize economy: finance minister

SEOUL -- South Korea's government will make all-out efforts to revitalize the economy by creating jobs, searching for new growth engines and reviving domestic demand and exports, the country's top economic policymaker said Thursday.

"The Chinese economy slowed down to 6 percent range growth last year, and the International Monetary Fund revised down the world economic growth forecast," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said in a meeting with economy-related ministers in Seoul. "There is no sign of things recovering anytime soon."

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More nuclear, missile tests required for N.K. to master miniaturization technology: CRS report

WASHINGTON -- Additional nuclear and missile tests would be required for North Korea to master the technology to put a nuclear warhead on a long-range ballistic missile, a recent U.S. congressional research report said.

The Congressional Research Service made the assessment in the Jan. 15 report, titled "North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation," saying the official position of the director of national intelligence (DNI) is that the North "has not yet demonstrated the full range of capabilities necessary for a nuclear armed missile."

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KT&G's Q4 net falls 7 pct on weak domestic sales

SEOUL -- KT&G Corp., South Korea's state-run tobacco producer, said Thursday its net profit decreased 7 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago due to lackluster sales in the domestic market.

Net profit came to 162.17 billion won (US$134.08 million) on a consolidated basis in the October-December period, compared with 174.41 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
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