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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 March 07, 2016

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

Gov't OKs first self-driving car

SEJONG -- The South Korean government issued a temporary license plate Monday for the nation's first self-driving car.

Hyundai's luxury sedan Genesis equipped with a high-tech driving assist system will be able to hit the road in six routes designated by the transport ministry.

(LEAD) KBS sweeps weekly viewership, tvN leads cable with 'Signal'

SEOUL -- Terrestrial network KBS beat rivals MBC and SBS in three of the most popular drama time slots with "Sweet Home, Sweet Honey," "Five Children" and "Descendants of the Sun," data showed Monday.

"Sweet Home, Sweet Honey," a KBS 1TV drama, was viewed by 26.5 percent of TV homes between last Monday to Sunday, Nielsen Korea data showed. The show follows four young Koreans trying to keep their hope alive in the face of mounting debt and family drama.

S. Korean World Cup qualifier vs. Kuwait in limbo

SEOUL -- South Korea may not play their last match of the second Asian qualifying round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup this month following their opponents' international suspension, the local football governing body said Monday.

The Korean Football Association (KFA) said that FIFA, the world's top football body, will give its decision by Thursday about whether or not the World Cup qualification match between South Korea and Kuwait should take place at Daegu World Cup Stadium on March 29 as originally scheduled.

Park calls for additional sanctions on N. Korea

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye urged policymakers on Monday to take steps to ensure that U.N. member states can impose additional sanctions on North Korea to rein in its nuclear and missile programs.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a new resolution last week to punish North Korea for its fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch earlier in the year.

S. Korean economy enters slowing mode: KDI

SEJONG -- The South Korean economy has entered a slowdown mode due largely to faltering exports and flaccid domestic consumption coupled with waning global demand, a state-run think tank said Monday.

"South Korea's major indicators exhibited continuing sluggishness, signaling a gradual deceleration in economic growth," the Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in its monthly evaluation of the country's economic conditions.

S. Korea, U.S. begin largest-ever military drills on striking N.K. leadership

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States kicked off their largest-ever annual joint military exercises on Monday with a special focus on bolstering the allies' wartime capability to launch precision strikes on North Korea's top leadership, officials said Monday.

The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises, each a command post-based and field training war game, began their weeks-long schedules amid escalating military tensions between South and North Korea following Pyongyang's nuclear and long-range missile tests earlier this year.

N. Korea omitted from China's 5-year economic plans: document

BEIJING -- Economic cooperation projects between North Korea and China were omitted from China's five-year economic plans, a document by Beijing's top economic planner showed Monday, an indication that may represent China's displeasure over Pyongyang's defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The document was presented by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament, on Saturday.

Hyundai E&C-led consortium wins US$2.93 bln deal from Kuwait

SEOUL -- A South Korean consortium led by Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. said Monday it has clinched a US$2.93 billion construction deal from Kuwait to build liquefied natural gas (LNG)-related facilities.

Under the deal with Kuwait National Petroleum Co., the consortium, which includes Hyundai Engineering Co. and state-run Korea Gas Corp., plans to construct re-gasification facilities and LNG tanks in Al-Zour, 90 kilometers south of the capital city.

(LEAD) Twins' Park Byung-ho hits grand slam for first U.S. homer

SEOUL -- The Minnesota Twins' Park Byung-ho hit a grand slam for his first home run in the United States on Sunday.

Batting sixth, the Korean slugger crushed one off Tampa Bay Ray's right-hander Jake Odorizzi in the first inning of their preseason game in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Twins won the game 5-4.

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