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Yonhap News Summary

All News 12:41 April 04, 2016

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

(LEAD) N.K. rebukes 'anachronistic' sanctions, urges U.S. to seek talks

SEOUL -- North Korea on Monday called the latest U.N. sanctions "anachronistic and suicidal" and urged the United States to make efforts to ease tensions on the divided peninsula.

A month ago the United Nations Security Council imposed the toughest sanctions in decades over the North's January nuclear test and long-range rocket launch in February.

(LEAD) UN office starts probe into N.K. human rights violations: gov't official

SEOUL -- A U.N. office on North Korea's human rights is carrying out interviews with North Korean defectors in a bid to investigate Pyongyang's treatment of its people, a government official said Monday.

The United Nations opened its field office in June last year in Seoul to monitor North Korea's human rights violations, recommended by the U.N. Commission's landmark report on the country's dismal record on human rights.

S. Korea to invest 100 bln won in supercomputers

SEOUL -- South Korea's ICT ministry said Monday it will allocate 100 billion won (US$87.2 million) to develop supercomputers, amid the rising awareness of the segment after Google Inc.'s AlphaGo posted a historical win against mankind in a board game last month.

The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning said it will invest 10 billion won annually for the next 10 years to foster the development of artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet-of-Things technologies and other emerging industries through supercomputers.

S. Korea to crack down on illegal immigrants

SEOUL -- The government said Monday it will clamp down on foreigners staying in South Korea without proper visas and reduce the rate of illegal aliens in the country below 10 percent by 2018.

The government will selectively allow entry to foreigners with low possibility of violating the immigration control law and beef up screening of visa issuance, it said during a planning committee meeting on foreigners policy held in Seoul.

Online sales jump 22.7 pct in Feb.

SEJONG -- Online shopping sales in South Korea jumped 22.7 percent in February from a year earlier on rising demand for tour packages and cosmetics, a government report showed Monday.

Total online transactions reached 4.69 trillion won (US$4.1 billion) in the second month of 2016, compared with 3.82 trillion won a year earlier, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.

(3rd LD) Park calls for free trade deal with Mexico

MEXICO CITY -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Sunday toured a museum and watched a K-pop concert in Mexico City on the second day of her trip to Mexico.

She spent about an hour at the National Museum of Anthropology -- home to about 600,000 collections, including artifacts from the Aztec and Mayan civilizations before their conquest by the Spanish.

(Yonhap Interview) Season 2 of 'Descendants of the Sun' unlikely: producer

SEOUL -- There probably won't be a season 2 for the popular South Korean drama "Descendants of the Sun," despite calls by fans to keep the fairytale romance between an Army captain and his doctor girlfriend going, its producer said Monday.

"Season 2 would be nice, but I don't know about its possibility," Lee Eung-bok, one of the two masterminds behind the KBS 2TV epic starring actor Song Joong-ki and actress Song Hye-kyo, told Yonhap News Agency in an interview. "We'd have to keep all the main cast, whose schedules won't be easy to coordinate. We'd also need the two writers again, and that might be hard."

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