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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:00 September 01, 2016

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

(Yonhap Interview) Girl statue should remain to conjure up Japan's wartime atrocities: creator

SEOUL -- A bronze statue of a girl has remained steadfast in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul for the past five years as a witness to constant calls for a sincere apology by Tokyo over the sexual enslavement of women during its occupation of the country in the first part of the 20th century.

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency, the sculptor of the statue said it should remain where it is in order to remind people of Japan's past wrongdoings and prevent a repetition of the tragedy.

(Yonhap Interview) S. Korea has great potential in wellness travel industry: U.S. expert

SEOUL -- South Korea has enough potential to become the next wellness travel destination if its tourism industry packages its cultural, natural and religious assets for target customers and tells compelling stories, an American industry expert said.

Wellness tourism is a relatively new concept that broadens the scope of medical and health tourism by seeking to improve or maintain health and quality of life through purpose-driven travels for spas, beauty, fitness, meditation and other healthy activities.

(LEAD) S. Korea's exports rise for first time in 20 months

SEJONG -- South Korea's exports posted the first on-year rise in 20 months in August on the back of brisk demand for chips and flat displays, the trade ministry said Thursday.

Outbound shipments came to US$40.1 billion last month, up 2.6 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Prosecutors summon Lotte founder's son over alleged embezzlement

SEOUL -- The elder son of Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho was summoned by prosecutors Thursday as they resumed an investigation into the embattled retail giant after one of its senior executives was found dead in an apparent suicide last week.

Shin Dong-joo appeared before the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office as a suspect on charges of embezzling some tens of billions of won from the group's major affiliates.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's consumer price growth hits 16-month low in Aug.

SEJONG -- South Korea's consumer prices increased at the slowest pace in 16 months, rekindling concerns of possible deflation in Asia's fourth-largest economy saddled with a protracted slump in domestic demand and falling exports, government data showed Thursday.

The country's consumer price index rose 0.4 percent last month from a year earlier, staying below the 1 percent level for four straight months, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Park to begin eight-day trip to Russia, China, Laos on Friday

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye will embark on an eight-day trip on Friday to attend back-to-back summits in Russia, China and Laos where she is expected to seek stronger international unity against North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile programs.

The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said that Park will travel first to Vladivostok, Russia, to attend the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), and then to Hangzhou, China, to attend the summit of the Group of 20 (G20) advanced and emerging economies.

Opposition to THAAD shows China's belief neighbors must give priority to Chinese interests: U.S. expert

WASHINGTON -- China's opposition to South Korea's decision to host the U.S. THAAD missile defense system shows Beijing believes neighboring countries must put China's national interests ahead of their own, a U.S. expert said Wednesday.

Mark Tokola, vice president of the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington, made the point in an article posted at KEI's blog website, stressing that it is North Korea's nuclear and missile development that led to the decision to place THAAD in the South.

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