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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:46 March 08, 2016

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

S. Korean Go player lowers expectations before facing Google Al

SEOUL -- Lee Se-dol, a top-class South Korean Go player, said Tuesday he may not have his way with Google's artificial intelligence (AI) program, AlphaGo, after all.

A day before taking on the advanced human-like algorithm in the ancient board game Go, also known as "baduk" here, Lee said he now feels some pressure and the score he predicted last month -- 5-0 or 4-1 in his favor after five matches -- may not happen.

(LEAD) N. Korea stole information from smartphones of S. Korean officials: spy agency

SEOUL -- North Korea has stolen information from the smartphones of South Korean officials, Seoul's spy agency said Tuesday, the latest in a series of cyberattacks against South Korea.

The North hacked into smartphones belonging to dozens of major South Korean officials between late February and early March and gained access to lists of phone conversations, the content of text messages and phone conversations, the National Intelligence Service said.

U.S. envoy visits 'Operation Chromite' set

SEOUL -- U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert has visited the location where a movie on a crucial 1950-53 Korean War battle is being filmed, the film's producers said Tuesday.

Lippert took a trip to the film set in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province last Tuesday to meet the staff of "Operation Chromite," starring American actor Liam Neeson and directed by John H. Lee, Taewon Entertainment said.

CJ head again seeks custody suspension for hospital treatment

SEOUL -- The chairman of food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group has again requested a suspension of execution of his 30-month jail term, citing the need for medical treatment, court officials said Tuesday.

Lee Jay-hyun is currently in the hospital awaiting the Supreme Court's ruling on embezzlement, breach of trust and tax evasion. His confinement has been suspended on several occasions since August 2013.

S. Korea informs Russia of halt to trilateral project with N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea has informed Russia it is suspending a trilateral logistics project involving North Korea as part of unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang, government sources said Tuesday.

The Rajin-Khasan project aims to bring Russian coal and other freight to the South via rail and sea links that connect Russia and the two Koreas. It is one of the few projects that Seoul has maintained with the North despite sanctions on most cross-border exchanges.

(2nd LD) Mariners' Lee Dae-ho belts first home run in U.S.

SEOUL -- Lee Dae-ho of the Seattle Mariners belted his first home run in the United States in preseason action on Monday.

Lee hit a solo shot off Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Matt Reynolds in the bottom eighth of their Cactus League game in Peoria, Arizona.

(Yonhap Interview) Dinosaur expo to let visitors time travel: chief organizer

GOSEONG -- The upcoming international exposition on dinosaurs is meant to bring joy to kids and nostalgia to grown-ups, the head of the organizing committee said Tuesday.

The Gyeongnam Goseong Dinosaur World Expo is descending on the town known for dinosaur fossils located some 460 kilometers south of Seoul.

(News Focus) Lotte chairman cements grip after lengthy succession feud

SEOUL -- The prolonged family feud at South Korean retail giant Lotte Group has virtually come to an end as the founder's second son and incumbent chief won shareholder support to tighten his grip on the sprawling business empire, according to company officials and observers Tuesday.

Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin has been mired in a succession battle with his elder brother, Dong-joo, who has waged a series of legal battles and negative media campaigns after being stripped of his senior posts at Tokyo-based Lotte Holdings in early 2015.

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(Yonhap Feature) Season changing for K-pop girl groups

SEOUL -- The South Korean girl group industry is undergoing a generational shift, with new girl groups expanding their presence in the K-pop power structure.

Almost 20 years has passed since the debut of the "first generational" girl groups -- SES of S.M. Entertainment, Babyvox of DR Music and Fin.K.L. of DSP Entertainment -- in 1997-1998. Of the three, Babyvox was the last to disband in 2006.
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