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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:30 April 07, 2016

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

(2nd LD) Rival parties seek to swing voters as preliminary voting begins

SEOUL -- The ruling and opposition parties stepped up their campaigns on Thursday to win over undecided voters as the preliminary voting for the April 13 polls begins later this week.

South Koreans can begin casting their ballots during the preliminary voting on Friday and Saturday at 3,511 polling stations across the country, the National Election Commission (NEC) said.

(LEAD) S. Korea will remain second seed despite forfeit victory over Kuwait

SEOUL -- South Korea will remain a second seed in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup despite the world football governing body's ruling that the country should be awarded a forfeit victory for their unplayed qualifier against Kuwait last month.

FIFA's Disciplinary Committee announced on Wednesday (local time) that Kuwait have forfeited their Group G matches against South Korea and Laos in the second round Asian qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia. Kuwait have been suspended by FIFA and unable to play since October because of government interference in its football association.

Finance minister notes improvement, but says recovery still uncertain

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance minister noted the local economy was showing signs of improvement Thursday, but said whether such improvements will be maintained still needs to be seen.

Pointing to the recent slowdown in the rate of a cut in the country's exports, Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said Asia's fourth-largest economy appeared to be on a recovery path.

S. Korea declares war on excessive sugar intake

SEOUL -- The government here on Thursday announced an unprecedented campaign to reduce sugar consumption by its people, designating sugar as the main culprit behind the rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases in Korean society.

In the initial five-year phase of the anti-sugar campaign, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety will make an intensive effort to keep the intake of sugar from processed foods, except for milk, below 10 percent of people's daily total energy.

Court orders gov't to cancel dismissal of acquitted energy ambassador

SEOUL -- An appeals court on Thursday ordered the government to cancel its dismissal of a former energy and resources ambassador who was acquitted of the charge of manipulating stock prices.

Overruling a lower court's decision, the Seoul High Court ruled in favor of Kim Eun-seok, who had been indicted on charges of colluding with a mine developer to reap massive profits from a stock price rigging scam linked to a diamond mining project in Cameroon.

(LEAD) S. Korean stocks close higher on eased uncertainties

SEOUL -- South Korean shares closed slightly higher Thursday as the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) March minutes met expectations, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 2.57 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish at 1,973.89. Trading volume was high at 424 million shares worth 4.57 trillion won (US$3.97 billion), with gainers beating losers 427 to 369.

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