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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:51 March 04, 2016

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

S. Korea, U.S. launch formal talks on deploying THAAD in Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States officially launched a joint working group Friday to discuss the idea of deploying the advanced missile defense shield in the Northeast Asian country, the Defense Ministry here said.

The joint group is scheduled to hold its inaugural meeting later in the day at the Ministry of National Defense. The sides are co-headed by the South Korean ministry's Director General Maj. Gen. Jang Kyung-soo and U.S. Forces Korea's Maj. Gen. Robert Hedelund.

N. Korea shows new activity at rocket launch site

WASHINGTON -- Recent satellite imagery has shown new activity at North Korea's rocket launch site since last month's long-range missile launch, including possible preparations for a rocket engine test, a North Korea-monitoring website said Thursday.

The website 38 North said the imagery showed "an unusual convoy of five small four-meter-long trucks" traveling from the vertical engine test stand at the North's Dongchang-ri site, and the vehicles are believed to be returning from the delivery of supplies, fuel or even engine components

(LEAD) N. Korean leader orders nuclear weapons to be made ready for use

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the country's nuclear weapons to be made ready for use at a "moment's notice," its state media reported on Friday.

He also said the communist state will revise its military posture so that it can be ready to carry out pre-emptive attacks, stressing that the current situation has become "very precarious," according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

(LEAD) N. Korea's firing of barrage of projectiles underscores importance of U.N. sanctions: State Department

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's firing of a barrage of projectiles into the East Sea underscores the importance of the new U.N. resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang and its stringent implementation, the State Department said Thursday.

The North fired six short-range projectiles off its east coast Thursday in an apparent gesture of defiance just hours after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted the harshest-ever sanctions on Pyongyang for carrying out its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and its long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7.

Hyundai Motor's Feb. sales in China plunge nearly 30 pct

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's leading carmaker, saw its sales in China plummet for a second straight month in February, industry data showed Friday, casting a dark cloud over its business prospects in one of the world's largest markets.

Hyundai Motor sold 53,326 vehicles in China last month, down 28.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data obtained by the English division of Yonhap News Agency. The data is not a final version and is subject to adjustment later

U.S. Wells Fargo joins Samsung Pay

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it has reached an agreement to include the U.S.-based bank Wells Fargo & Company in its mobile payment platform, speeding up efforts to promote Samsung Pay.

Following the partnership, Samsung Pay users can make purchases using their Wells Fargo accounts. The South Korean tech giant earlier clinched similar deals with Bank of America, Citibank and Chase Bank of the United States.

S. Korea's foreign reserves down for 4th month in Feb.

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign exchange reserves dwindled for the fourth consecutive month in February due partly to a cut in the value of non-U.S. dollar assets such as the euro and British pound, the central bank said Friday.

The country's foreign exchange reserves stood at US$365.76 billion at the end of last month, down $1.54 billion from the previous month according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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