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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 July 20, 2016

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

Park's aide refuses to step down over allegations of ties to corrupt businessmen

SEOUL -- A senior presidential secretary on Wednesday brushed aside calls for him to step down, repeating his denial of the allegations that linked him to two businessmen at the center of high-profile corruption scandals.

Woo Byung-woo, President Park Geun-hye's top secretary for civil affairs, emphasized that he has never met or had any personal ties to the businessmen, and that all the allegations against him were false.

S. Korea faces challenge in reflecting its stance on N. Korea in ARF statement: source

SEOUL -- South Korea is expected to face challenges in reflecting its stance on North Korea and its nuclear ambitions in a chairman's statement to be issued at the end of the upcoming regional security meeting, given the chair country's close ties to the communist country, a government source said Wednesday.

Top diplomats from 27 Asia-Pacific countries and the European Union will meet in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, and hold a series of meetings led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations over the weekend.

The Beatles' Ringo Starr to stage first Korea concert in Nov.

SEOUL -- Ringo Starr, the drummer of world-famous British rock band the Beatles, will hold his first-ever concert in South Korea in November, a local concert planner said on Wednesday.

The British songwriter's concert was ultimately set for Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. at Jamsil Stadium in southeastern Seoul, according to World Show Market, a local concert and event planner for international artists. This would be his first event in Korea in his 54-year music career.

State academy chief refutes concerns of China's economic retaliation over THAAD

SEOUL -- South Korea's deployment of the anti-ballistic missile defense system is not likely to result in economic retaliation from China, the head of the state diplomacy academy said Wednesday.

Earlier this month, South Korea and the United States officially announced their decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in the southern county of Seongju by next year to deal with North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

Neutral faction favorite not to join Saenuri leadership race

SEOUL -- Rep. Na Kyung-won, who has been cited as a favorite-to-run lawmaker in the neutral faction of the Saenuri Party, said Wednesday she will not compete in the leadership race.

Na's decision came a day after Rep. Suh Chung-won, an eight-term lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party who has been supportive of Park, also announced he will not run for the chairmanship.

Trump officially nominated as Republican presidential candidate

CLEVELAND/WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump was officially nominated the Republican candidate for the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday, completing a meteoric rise from an outsider who was once considered a joke.

The real-estate mogul received a total of 1,725 delegates, well over the majority of 1,237 needed, in the state-by-state roll call vote on the second day of a four-day national convention held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

S. Korean man indicted for trying to enter N. Korea

SEOUL -- A 54-year-old South Korean man has been indicted on charges of attempting to enter North Korea in violation of the country's security law, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said the suspect, whose identity was withheld, allegedly left for China in September 2013 and sought support from Uriminzokkiri, Pyongyang's main internet-based media and propaganda website, to enter the North.

Hyundai Motor workers stage strike for 2nd day

SEOUL -- Workers at Hyundai Motor Co. rallied for their second day of partial strikes on Wednesday, pressing the country's largest automaker to accept their demand for a pay raise and better working conditions.

They walked off the job for four hours from 11:30 a.m. at the company's plant in Ulsan and other facilities. On Tuesday, they also launched a four-hour strike.

S. Korea secures manganese crust in Pacific Ocean

SEJONG -- South Korea has secured a combined 40 million tons of manganese crust in the western region of the Pacific Ocean as part of efforts to seek deep sea mineral resources in international waters, the maritime ministry here said Wednesday.

The manganese nodules are located on the sea bed at a depth of 800 meters to 2,500 meters. They are rich in minerals such as iron, copper and manganese hydroxides.

(2nd LD) N. Korea says it staged missile drill to practice striking S. Korean ports, airfields

SEOUL -- North Korea on Wednesday said it conducted its recent missile launch drill with the aim of practicing pre-emptive strikes against South Korean ports and airfields.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang test-fired three ballistic missiles -- two Scuds and one Rodong -- in an apparent "armed protest" against South Korea's decision early this month to deploy an advanced U.S. anti-missile system in the country to counter growing threats from the North.

KEPCO to use utility poles as electric vehicle charging stations

SEOUL -- South Korea's state-run power supplier has devised a way to use utility poles as charging stations for electric vehicles, drastically cutting installation costs, its officials said Wednesday.

Working with an idea submitted by one of its employees, the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) said it will conduct a trial test within this year in the southeastern city of Busan. A memorandum of understanding will be signed with the city on July 28, officials said.

NPS' reliance on Samsung grows in equity market

SEOUL -- The value of Samsung Group shares owned by South Korea's state pension fund jumped to 24.2 trillion won (US$21.2 billion) in the first half of the year, reaching a quarter of its total investment in the local stock market, data showed Wednesday.

The National Pension Service (NPS), which manages the world's third-largest public fund, allocates around 100 trillion won in its home market.

S. Korean-made trainers to be supplied to Senegalese air force

SEOUL -- Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) said Wednesday that it will export its basic trainer to Senegal, the first such deal in the African market.

"We decided on Friday to supply four KT-1 basic trainers to the Senegalese air force," KAI, the country's sole aircraft manufacturer, said in a notice released late Tuesday.

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