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Yonhap News Summary

All News 11:53 January 29, 2016

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea's industrial output rebounds in Dec.

SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial output moved up for the first time in three months in December on the back of robust growth in the chemical and refinery sectors, a government report showed Friday.

According to the report by Statistics Korea, production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries gained 1.3 percent last month from a month earlier.

S. Korea closely monitors N. Korea's possible long-range missile

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea's presidential office, said Friday that it is closely watching the signs for North Korea's long-range missile launch.

The comments followed a series of media reports that Pyongyang could launch a long-range missile in one week's time at the Dongchang-ri launch site in the country's northwest, citing satellite imagery analyses.

(LEAD) Senate committee passes N. Korea sanctions legislation

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed a strong sanctions bill on North Korea on Thursday, demonstrating bipartisan support for a tough response to the communist nation's fourth nuclear test.

The legislation, which combined two similar bills proposed respectively by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), calls for mandatory blacklisting of those assisting Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs, human rights abuses, cyber attacks and other crimes.

N. Korean nuclear envoy seen in Beijing

BEIJING -- A North Korean diplomat handling the nuclear issue and relations with the United States arrived in Beijing on Friday, multiple sources here said.

Choi Son-hui, deputy director-general of the North Korean foreign ministry's American affairs bureau, was seen entering China in the morning through the Beijing international airport, they said.

S. Korea to join U.S.-led regional military drill in Thailand

SEOUL -- South Korean combat forces will join a United States-led multinational military exercise to be held next month in Thailand, the Navy said Friday.

Some 440 Navy and Marine soldiers will depart for Thailand on Saturday to join the Cobra Gold exercise, which will run from Feb. 6 through 19.

(LEAD) S. Korean manufacturing sentiment hits 7-month low for Feb.

SEOUL -- South Korean manufacturing companies' business sentiments for February sank to the lowest level in seven months amid still sluggish consumer spending, a poll showed Friday.

The business survey index (BSI) for manufacturing companies came to 66 for February, down from 68 for January and the lowest mark since 66 posted in June 2015, according to a survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

(Yonhap Feature) S. Korean cosmetic makers battle Chinese knockoffs

SEOUL -- The Korean cosmetic industry has grown fast thanks to eager Chinese consumers, but the K-beauty boom has given rise to another booming business in the key market: counterfeits.

Over the past years, Korean cosmetics have become frequent and common targets in the black market as they have gained popularity among fans of Korean dramas and celebrities.

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