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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:40 January 26, 2016

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea's economic growth cools sharply in Q4

SEOUL -- South Korea's fourth-quarter economic growth more than halved from three months earlier as plunging construction investment offset a visible recovery in consumer spending and exports, the central bank said Tuesday.

In the three months that ended on Dec. 31, the gross domestic product of Asia's fourth-largest economy expanded 0.6 percent from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a year earlier, it grew 3 percent.

Jeju airport in full operation to transport passengers

JEJU -- Jeju International Airport on South Korea's southernmost resort island operated hundreds of flights overnight, carrying some 23,900 people off the island after passengers had been grounded by heavy snowfall for over 40 hours, the government said Tuesday.

The Jeju Regional Office of Aviation said a total of 355 flights -- 155 inbound and 200 outbound -- were safely executed as of 5:20 a.m. Tuesday. The authorities temporarily lifted night flight restrictions to deal with the backlog of flights.

(2nd LD) SK hynix's Q4 net plunges on weaker demand

SEOUL -- South Korean chip giant SK hynix Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit fell 46.3 percent from a year earlier due to falling shipments of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips and other major products.

Net profit came to 871.3 billion won (US$727 million) in the October-December period, compared with the profit of 1.6 trillion won posted the previous year, SK hynix said in a regulatory filing.

Volkswagen customers to file class-action lawsuit in U.S.

SEOUL -- Customers of Volkswagen vehicles in South Korea plan to file a class-action lawsuit against the German carmaker in the United States for deceiving them on emissions results of cars with 3-liter diesel engines, their legal representative said Tuesday.

This is in addition to the ongoing class-action suit filed by customers of the carmaker's 2-liter diesel models whose emissions results were proved to be faked by using the so-called defeat device.

S. Korean finance minister stresses budget frontloading in Q1

SEJONG -- South Korea's finance minister asked government ministries and agencies on Tuesday to make all-out efforts to frontload their budget spending in the first quarter to preemptively cope with rising economic uncertainties at home and abroad.

"The government is pushing forward with the frontloading of fiscal spending in the first quarter as the South Korean economy is expected to face challenges like contracted consumption, a slowdown in China and fast-falling oil prices," Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Yoo Il-ho was quoted as saying in a remark at the Cabinet meeting held in Seoul.

S. Korea's auto exports drop 8.3 pct in Q4

SEJONG -- South Korea's automobile exports fell 8.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year mainly due to weaker demand from China and Russia, customs data showed Tuesday.

The total value of exported passenger cars came to US$10.7 billion in the October-December period, down from the $11.7 billion a year earlier, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

Kerry: N.K. leader 'questionable in terms of judgment'

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "questionable in terms of judgment" and called his nuclear pursuit "one of the most serious issues on the planet today."

Kerry made the remark at a press roundtable during a visit to the Laotian capital of Vientiane, talking about his upcoming trip to China aimed at discussing how to deal with North Korea in the wake of its fourth nuclear test, according to a State Department transcript.

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