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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:17 January 28, 2016

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

Gov't calls for prudent implementation of labor reform

SEOUL -- The labor minister on Thursday asked large companies to be cautious in implementing new labor guidelines announced by the government last week.

Under the guidelines, companies can fire "noticeably" underperforming workers and amend their employment rules more easily.

(LEAD) POSCO swings to net loss in 2015

SEOUL -- POSCO, South Korea's largest steelmaker, said Thursday that it swung to a net loss in 2015 amid weak demand and losses from its equity in affiliates.

POSCO said in a regulatory filing that it posted 96 billion won (US$79.4 million) in net loss last year on a consolidated basis, a turnaround from a net profit of 557 billion won.

N.K.'s bid to lure foreign investment to hit snag: experts

SEOUL -- North Korea is eager to attract foreign investment at its special economic zones in areas bordering China, but its latest nuclear test will likely hamper success, experts said Thursday.

The North has unveiled an investment guideline written in Korean, English and Chinese for its special economic zone in the northwestern border city of Sinuiju, according to North Korea's portal site Naenara.

Finance minister vows to help companies enter untapped overseas markets

SEOUL/SEJONG -- South Korea's finance minister said Thursday that the government will make determined efforts to help companies make headway into untapped overseas markets like Iran, and revive exports as Asia's fourth largest economy strives keep alive its economic momentum in the coming months.

"We are facing challenges as uncertainties are rising, and emerging countries are catching up with us, but there are still opportunities out there," Yoo Il-ho said in a meeting of economy-related ministers in Seoul.

(LEAD) Seoul shares close higher after volatile session

SEOUL -- Despite renewed concerns over a global economic downturn, South Korean stocks rose 0.48 percent Thursday as gains for financials and retailers effectively offset tech losses. The local currency closed higher against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 9.07 points to end at 1,906.94. Trade volume was moderate at 306.8 million shares worth 4.61 trillion won (US$4.15 billion), with winners beating losers 539 to 262.

Asia's largest drone show kicks off in Busan

BUSAN -- Asia's largest drone festival opened on Thursday in Busan for a three-day run to show a variety of drones ranging from light unmanned aerial vehicles to toy drones.

Some 56 companies from four countries participated in Drone Show Korea 2016, the largest of its scale in Asia and the first such event being held in South Korea.

S. Korea seeking to explore new markets, revive exports

SEJONG -- South Korea plans to ramp up efforts to explore untapped overseas markets such as Iran and Cuba and boosting its exports this year in the face of a slowdown in China and fast-falling oil prices, the finance ministry said Thursday.

In its first meeting of foreign economy-related ministers led by Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Yoo Il-ho, the government outlined the 2016 economic plan for overseas trade strategies.

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