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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 June 02, 2016

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

(LEAD) S. Korea welcomes U.S. move to designate N.K. as 'primary money laundering concern'

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday welcomed the U.S.' move to designate North Korea as a "primary money laundering concern," saying that it indicates Washington's strong commitment to faithfully carry out the toughened sanctions on the communist country for its nuclear weapons program.

The foreign ministry vowed to keep working closely with the United States and the international community to seek sanctions and put pressure on the North to prod it to take a "genuine" step toward denuclearization.

S. Korean Navy to join U.S.-led multinational naval exercise

SEOUL -- The South Korean Navy said Thursday it plans to join the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), a U.S.-led biennial multinational naval drill, which will kick off late June, in a bid to boost the combat capability of its ships and crew.

A group of about 700 servicemen from the Navy and Marine Corps will take part in this year's RIMPAC, which will be held from June 30 to Aug. 4 in waters off Hawaii, according to military officials.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's economic growth slows in Q1: BOK

SEOUL -- South Korea's economic growth slowed in the first quarter from three months earlier due to still sluggish demand at home and abroad, central bank data showed Thursday.

In the January-March period, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.5 percent from the previous quarter, slowing from a 0.7 percent on-quarter expansion three months earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

S. Korea's big 3 shipyards clinch no orders in May

SEOUL -- South Korea's top three shipbuilders failed to clinch any new orders last month, mirroring a protracted slump in the global shipbuilding sector, industry data showed on Thursday.

According to the data compiled by global research firm Clarkson Research Services, the nation's top three shipyards -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. -- won no new orders last month.

China 'can't make breakthrough' in curbing N. Korea's nuclear ambition

BEIJING -- China "cannot make a breakthrough" in reining in North Korea's nuclear weapons ambition, a state-run newspaper published by China's ruling Communist Party said Thursday, a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with a visiting high-level North Korean delegation.

The Global Times newspaper said in an editorial that the Wednesday talks between Xi and the North Korean delegation showed willingness by the two nations "to maintain their traditional friendship and ease the tense relationship."

Busan Int'l Motor Show opens highlighting eco-friendly cars

BUSAN -- Participating carmakers in this year's Busan International Motor Show have something in common amid the lingering impact of Volkswagen AG's diesel emissions scandal: environmentally friendly vehicles.

In the biennial motor show, which opened Thursday and will continue through June 12 at the BEXCO exhibition hall in Busan, 453 kilometers south of Seoul, most of the 25 domestic and imported carmakers came up with a reinforced lineup with hybrid or pure-electric models or with a plan to add such models to their lineups.

U.N. chief tops poll among presidential hopefuls

SEOUL -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emerged as the most favored potential presidential candidate for next year's election, a poll showed Thursday, bypassing long-established hopefuls in the opposition parties.

According to the survey conducted by Realmeter on 2,018 South Koreans earlier this week, Ban held an approval rate of 25.3 percent, outpacing other potential candidates. It marked the first time for Ban to be included in the Realmeter survey, which is one of the key barometers to gauge public sentiment.

(LEAD) Ruling party urges gov't to bolster clean-air policy

SEOUL -- South Korea's ruling party on Thursday urged the government to put a priority on improving the country's air quality rather than just pursuing a policy of bolstering energy efficiency.

"While the government has been promoting diesel automobiles for energy efficiency, it is important to note such cars are behind the air pollution issue," Rep. Chung Jin-suk, the floor leader, said during the meeting with government officials on fine-dust emissions.

Hotel Lotte raided over lobbying scandal

SEOUL -- Prosecutors raided South Korean retail giant Lotte Group's hotel unit Thursday over allegations it received bribes from the chief of a local cosmetics brand who is at the center of a lobbying scandal that is rocking the country's legal establishment.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said it confiscated computer hard discs, accounting books and other related documents from Lotte Hotel Co.'s department in charge of duty-free shops in central Seoul.

'The Vegetarian' remains No. 1 best-seller in S. Korea for third week

SEOUL -- "The Vegetarian," this year's Man Booker International Prize-winning novel, has kept its No. 1 position in South Korea for a third straight week, a local online bookstore said Thursday.

The fiction by South Korean writer Han Kang was the No. 1 best-seller for the week of May 26-June 1, the third week since it won one of the world's top three prestigious awards in writing, the website of Yes24 showed.

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