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Yonhap News Summary

All News 14:23 April 07, 2016

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

(2nd LD) Samsung Electronics' Q1 earnings beat forecast

SEOUL -- South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday its first-quarter operating profit is estimated to have hovered far above the previous forecast, apparently on the back of early sales of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7.

Samsung said it is believed to have posted an operating profit of 6.6 trillion won (US$5.6 billion) in the January-March period, up 10.37 percent from the same period last year. From the previous quarter, the Q1 estimate marks a 7.49 percent rise.

(LEAD) N. Korea recently opened hospital in Tanzania: RFA

SEOUL -- North Korea has recently opened a hospital in Tanzania and since been striving to boost earnings apparently to make up for its foreign income squeezed by international sanctions, a media report said Thursday.

Maibong Sukidor Medical, a Korean traditional medical center, opened near the East African country's former capital of Dar es Salaam in early February, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) said.

Kerry slams Trump's nuclear armament suggestion

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has slammed Donald Trump's suggestion that South Korea and Japan develop their own nuclear weapons for self-defense, saying nothing can be "more volatile" or "more contrary" to peace and stability.

Kerry also said in an interview with PBS on Tuesday that countries around the world are greatly concerned about the Republican front-runner and that wherever he goes as America's top diplomat, he gets questions, "What has happened to your politics?"

Lotte Duty Free eyes takeover of foreign luxury brand

SEOUL -- Lotte Duty Free, South Korea's No. 1 duty-free operator, said Thursday it is mulling an acquisition of a foreign luxury goods maker with high brand value in a bid to further bolster its business.

The move is seen as the company's strategy to create synergies by having a premium luxury product maker under its wing as a duty-free shop's success usually hinges on whether it houses luxury brands or not.

(Yonhap Interview) Sanctions on N.K. would have considerable impact in long-term: KNDA chief

SEOUL -- The latest package of U.N. sanctions on North Korea will have a "considerable impact" in the long-term, albeit not immediately, the head of a state diplomatic academy said Thursday, stressing the need to increase "strategic costs" that Pyongyang should pay due to its nuclear program.

During an interview with Yonhap News Agency, Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) Chancellor Yun Duk-min also called on Seoul and Washington to consider mapping out a nuclear doctrine that delineates credible steps to counter the North's evolving nuclear threats.

Former KORAIL chief arrested over corruption in urban development project

SEOUL -- Prosecutors on Thursday formally arrested a former chief of South Korea's rail operator on suspicions of bribery in connection to a now-scrapped urban development plan in Seoul.

The Seoul Central District Court issued a warrant to arrest Huh Joon-young, who led the Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL) from 2009 to 2011, noting there are considerable reasons to believe he committed the crimes and could possibly destroy evidence.

Labor, management kick off talks to set next year's minimum wage

SEOUL -- South Korea's labor and management representatives kicked off talks Thursday to set the mandatory minimum wage for next year.

The Minimum Wage Council that also includes delegates from the public sector is tasked with jointly setting the wage level and the extent of its application for 2017. The three groups at the talks each send nine delegates who will set the new minimum wage.

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