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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 July 15, 2016

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

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U.S. urges N. Korea to work toward reducing tensions after threats over THAAD

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Defense Department urged North Korea to work toward reducing tensions Thursday as the communist nation threatens to take "physical" action in response to a decision to deploy the U.S. THAAD missile defense system in South Korea.

The North's military made the threat earlier this week after the South and the U.S. announced a decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery in the South to better defend against growing nuclear and missile threats from the North.

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Koreas trade barbs over THAAD deployment

SEOUL -- South Korea rapped North Korea Friday for leveling what it said was unjustified criticism against its decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile system on its soil.

The communist country issued a statement late Thursday accusing South Korea of turning the Korean Peninsula into a "theater of a nuclear war" with its decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system with the U.S. forces in the South.

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(LEAD) S. Korea checks nationals' safety after deadly France attack

SEOUL -- South Korea has been checking the safety of its nationals in the wake of a deadly attack on the southern French city of Nice, an official said Friday, with no South Korean casualties reported so far.

On Thursday night (local time), a truck drove into a crowd during celebrations for the Bastille Day holiday, killing at least 73 people and injuring more than 100 others, according to media reports.

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Defending champions at top of baseball standing entering All-Star break

SEOUL -- After winning their first South Korean baseball title in 14 years last year, the Doosan Bears have picked up right where they left off.

The Bears have wrapped up the first half in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season in first place with 55 wins, 27 losses and one tie. They dropped their final two games before the All-Star break but they still have a 4.5-game lead over the NC Dinos.

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(LEAD) Samsung Electronics to invest $448.2 mln in China's BYD: source

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's biggest maker of smartphones, will invest 3 billion yuan (US$448.2 million) in a Chinese electric carmaker, BYD Co., an investment-banking source said Friday.

The investment is expected to forge a strategic partnership between Samsung, which also produces semiconductors and liquid-crystal displays for cars, and BYD, according to the source.

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(LEAD) PM visits Seongju to alleviate concerns over THAAD deployment

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn visited the town of Seongju, which was tapped as the site for the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, on Friday, in the face of strong opposition from the residents who questioned the safety and legitimacy of the government's decision.

The trip is seen as a move to alleviate concerns that residents may have about the health issues related to the missile system's powerful radar and questions raised about the fairness of the government's decision-making process.

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Finance minister vows to speed up implementation of extra budget

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance minister on Friday said he will speed up efforts to roll out an extra budget in a "timely" manner, adding the detailed plan will be handed to the National Assembly this month.

"The timing is crucial when it comes to an extra budget," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said during a meeting with the ruling Saenuri Party. "The bill will be handed in to the parliament as soon as possible."

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Police summon Maestro Chung over embezzlement allegations

SEOUL -- Maestro Chung Myung-whun was summoned by police Friday to face questioning over alleged embezzlement, a day after he was grilled by prosecutors over a rumor scandal surrounding the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO).

The 63-year-old conductor appeared at the Jongno Police Station in Seoul over suspicions he unlawfully used the orchestra's assets for personal expenses.

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(LEAD) Russia submits short implementation plan on N. Korea sanctions

SEOUL -- Russia was confirmed on Friday to have submitted a relatively short implementation plan to the United Nations explaining how it will enforce sanctions against North Korea for defiantly pursuing its nuclear and missile programs.

Russia's one-page report dated May 27 was made public on the U.N. website, detailing its implementation plan for the sanctions outlined under the latest resolution of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) adopted in March.

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Naver's Line Corp. listed on Tokyo bourse

SEOUL -- Line Corp., a Japan-based global chat app operator, debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday after a strong start on Wall Street.

The subsidiary of South Korea's dominant internet service firm Naver Corp. set its IPO price in Tokyo at 3,300 yen (US$31.27). In the first trade in the Tokyo equity market, Line shares changed hands for 4,900 yen, up 48.5 percent from the IPO price, heralding a successful debut.

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