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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:45 January 03, 2017

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

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(LEAD) Saenuri's interim chief condemns Park loyalists

SEOUL -- The new interim head of the ruling Saenuri Party continued to upbraid party members loyal to President Park Geun-hye, a move expected to spark another round of factional feuding after an exodus of lawmakers last month.

In Myung-jin, head of the emergency leadership panel, earlier threatened a sweeping purge of key Park loyalists, calling on them to leave the party and take responsibility for the political scandal which led to the president's impeachment in December.

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Former U.N. chief Ban seen as distancing himself from Park

SEOUL -- The past three Januarys, former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called President Park Geun-hye to exchange New Year's greetings and express his expectations for progress in her key foreign policy initiatives.

This year, however, Ban, long bandied about as a powerful presidential contender, has yet to make a call to the impeached president, reinforcing the speculation that he is distancing himself from the unpopular leader mired in a highly charged corruption scandal.

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Amid N.K. threats, acting president vows to enhance security based on Korea-U.S. alliance

SEOUL -- South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Tuesday vowed to beef up national security based on the Seoul-Washington defense alliance and closer international cooperation amid North Korea's escalating military threats.

During the first Cabinet meeting in the new year, Hwang also renewed his pledge to preemptively respond to internal and external economic risks, and mobilize all available resources to reinvigorate the sluggish economy.

"What is more important than anything else is maintaining a robust security posture to ensure that security would not waver under any circumstance," Hwang said.

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FDI in S. Korea hits fresh high in 2016

SEOUL -- New foreign direct investment (FDI) pledged to South Korea increased 1.9 percent on-year to hit a record high in 2016 thanks to a rise in investment in the service segment, the government said Tuesday.

New FDI pledges came to US$21.3 billion last year, up from the previous record of $20.9 billion set in 2015, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The ministry said the amount of new FDI in the country had surpassed the $20-billion mark for two years in a row.

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S. Korean shares up with European markets, foreign buying

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded higher late Tuesday morning, taking their cues from gains in the European markets and supported by foreign investors buying shares.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 9.32 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,035.48 as of 11:20 a.m.

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Economic growth not leading to job creation

SEJONG -- South Korea's economic growth is not creating as many jobs as before, government analysis indicated Tuesday, saddling the country with bad news when growth projections are being marked down.

Numbers provided by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and Statistics Korea show the government expects 2.6 percent economic expansion in 2017 with around 260,000 new jobs, translating to 100,000 people being newly employed per 1 percent economic growth.

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Cabinet OKs temporary removal of import duties on egg products

SEOUL-- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a regulation on removing import tariffs on egg products in the latest move to resolve a supply shortage sparked by the worst outbreak of bird flu in South Korea, officials said.

The move will allow local companies to import 98,000 tons of shell eggs, powdered eggs and six other types of egg products without tariffs between Wednesday and June 30.

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Acting president says bird flu outbreak is almost under control

SEOUL -- Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said Tuesday that the spread of avian influenza (AI) that has ravaged poultry farms across the country since mid-November has almost been brought under control.

During a daily meeting on the disease, Hwang also warned of the possibility of additional outbreaks caused by migratory birds, urging quarantine authorities to continue their "preemptive" measures.

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U.S. senator calls for 'secondary sanctions' on Chinese firms doing business with N.K.

WASHINGTON -- The incoming U.S. administration of Donald Trump should impose "secondary sanctions" on Chinese firms doing business with North Korea to intensify pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program, a U.S. senator said Monday.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) issued the appeal in an article to CNN, saying turning a blind eye to the problem under outgoing President Barack Obama's "strategic patience" policy produced "one of the greatest and most complex security challenges facing the incoming Trump administration."
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