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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 July 21, 2016

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

Park defends THAAD deployment plan again

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye on Thursday defended the recent decision by Seoul and Washington to deploy an advanced U.S. antimissile system here, stressing she won't bow to "criticism and resistance" to protect the nation.

Presiding over a session of the National Security Council, Park vowed to devise "all necessary measures" to protect the nation from North Korea's persistent military threats, ordering her government to be fully ready to "strongly retaliate" if provoked.

External construction complete for new submarine assembly hall in N. Korea: 38 North

WASHINGTON -- External construction of a submarine assembly hall at North Korea's main submarine port is now complete in a project that would enable Pyongyang to build much larger ballistic missile submarines, a U.S. monitoring website said Wednesday.

The website 38 North, dedicated to monitoring and analyzing the communist nation, released the assessment based on satellite imagery of the North's Shinpo Shipyard, the homeport of North Korea's Gorae-class ballistic missile submarine program.

Trump wants to 'reevaluate' trade, defense agreements to ensure they're 'win-win' deals: aide

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wants to reevaluate free trade and defense agreements to ensure they are balanced 'win-win' deals and reflect changes since the deals were signed, an adviser to the nominee said.

Joseph Schmitz, a foreign policy and national security adviser to Trump, made the remark during a Foreign Press Center briefing on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where Trump was officially named the Republican nominee for the November election Tuesday.

Labor strife in the shipbuilding sector losing momentum

SEOUL -- Labor strife in the country's shipbuilding segment seems to be fizzling out as employees' participation in the pan-industry strike, in protest against massive restructuring moves, is far lower than expected, industry sources said Thursday.

According to the sources, the coalition of unionized workers from eight shipbuilders, including Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., threatened last week to hold a joint strike on Wednesday where it said some 30,000 workers would appear.

(LEAD) KT&G Q2 net soars 12 pct on strong domestic sales

SEOUL -- KT&G Corp., South Korea's state-run tobacco producer, on Thursday said its net profit gained 11.9 percent in the second quarter from a year ago on the back of brisk sales in the domestic market.

Net profit came to 291.6 billion won (US$2.55 million) on a consolidated basis in the April-June period, compared with 260.7 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

U.N. chief's letter sparks new questions on political ambitions

SEOUL -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently sent a letter to a former prime minister, political sources said Thursday, a move seen by local political observers here as a sign of his intent to run for South Korea's presidential race slated for next year.

In the letter sent to Kim Jong-pil, an iconic conservative politician from Chungcheong Province, who was once considered a contender for the presidency, Ban said he will visit once he returns to South Korea in January, the sources said. The U.N. chief is also from the Chungcheong region.

Antitrust watchdog probes Google over anti-competitive behavior

SEJONG -- South Korea's antitrust watchdog on Thursday said it conducted an investigation into Google Inc. over allegedly forcing smartphone makers to use its operating system in their handsets.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) conducted the inspection of Google's local headquarters in southern Seoul last week, two years after the commission acquitted the global giant of the same charge.

U.S. spoof of Korean dramas provides comic relief

SEOUL -- An American-Korean web drama capturing the cliches of Korean soap operas has been providing comic relief to viewers with its witty spoofs of what makes K-dramas popular here and in other parts of the world.

"Dramaworld," produced by the U.S.-based video streaming site Viki, bares it all -- from the handsome but arrogant male lead who refuses to inherit his family business and sets up a high-class restaurant, to the two women vying for his attention, in and outside the kitchen.

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