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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:32 March 09, 2016

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

(2nd LD) N. Korea says it has 'miniaturized' nuke warhead

SEOUL -- North Korea has made nuclear warheads small enough to fit on ballistic missiles, the North's state media said Wednesday, in the latest claim that it has advanced its weapons capabilities.

At a meeting with nuclear scientists and technicians, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that his country has made a nuclear bomb lighter and achieved its "standardization," according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

(LEAD) U.S Air Force chief: N.K. yet to master technology to put nuclear warhead on long-range missile

WASHINGTON -- North Korea is not believed to have mastered the technology to fit a nuclear warhead onto a long-range missile yet, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said.

Welsh made the remark during a Pentagon briefing Monday, saying the commander of U.S. Northern Command "spends a lot of time worried about how we can be sure to take it out if they ever did develop the capability to combine a long-range missile with a warhead that was operable."

S. Korea to continue providing humanitarian aid to N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea said Wednesday that it will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to North Korea despite its fresh sanctions aimed at punishing the North for its nuke and missile programs.

On Tuesday, Seoul unveiled a set of unilateral punitive actions against the North following tougher United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions over Pyongyang's latest nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

S. Korean car exports shrink for four straight months

SEJONG -- South Korea's automobile exports shrank for four consecutive months in February due mainly to contracted demand from emerging markets amid fast-falling oil prices, the government said Wednesday.

Outbound shipments of vehicles came to 192,276 units last month, down 8.1 percent from 209,148 units tallied a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Hyundai Steel's plant in Mexico to start operation this month

SEOUL -- Hyundai Steel Co., the steelmaking unit of Hyundai Motor Group, will start operating a plant in Mexico this month that will churn out steel necessary to manufacturing vehicles, the company said Wednesday.

The construction of the plant, located in Monterrey, northeast Mexico, will be completed within this month and it will also start to produce cold-rolled steel plates for automobiles after a test operation, according to the company.

Top 30 conglomerates to expand investment over 5 percent this year

SEOUL -- South Korea's leading business groups are expected to expand their investments slightly in 2016, but spending on research will likely stay almost unchanged from a year earlier amid worries over worsening business conditions, a survey showed Wednesday.

According to the survey by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) of the top 30 conglomerates, they plan to invest 122.7 trillion won (US$101.3 billion), up 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Industrial output, domestic demand to show signs of slight recovery: gov't report

SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial production and domestic demand have remained sluggish in recent months, but they are expected to slightly recover later this year, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

A protracted slump in the nation's exports is also expected to ease, while the recent government decision to extend the individual consumption tax cut may have a positive effect on domestic consumption, said the ministry in its latest economic assessment report called the Green Book.

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