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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:34 January 03, 2017

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

(LEAD) Constitutional Court holds first hearing on Park impeachment case

SEOUL -- South Korea's Constitutional Court held its first open hearing Tuesday to determine the fate of President Park Geun-hye following her impeachment over a corruption scandal involving her and her longtime friend.

Park, who has had her presidential powers suspended until a decision is made by the court, did not appear before the nine-member bench in a widely anticipated move.

(LEAD) Choi Soon-sil's daughter ordered to turn in passport

SEOUL -- The South Korean government has ordered the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the center of a massive presidential scandal, to turn in her passport in a bid to pressure her to return home and face an investigation, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

Chung Yoo-ra was arrested in the northern Danish city of Aalborg on Sunday on charges of illegal stay. She is suspected of receiving favors from a Seoul-based college in the admissions process and on tests by taking advantage of her mother's ties to the president.

Parliament accuses incumbent, former cultural ministers of perjury

SEOUL -- South Korea's parliamentary committee looking into the influence-peddling scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil on Tuesday accused the incumbent and former cultural ministers of perjury during hearing sessions.

The committee decided to accuse Cultural Minister Cho Yoon-sun and former minister Kim Jong-deok, as well as an ex-deputy minister, for delivering false testimonies during the hearings.

(LEAD) Hyundai Merchant forms alliance with smaller local rivals

SEOUL -- Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., a major South Korean shipping line, said Tuesday that it has agreed to forge an alliance with two local rivals, a move apparently aimed at overcoming the downturn swarming the entire industry.

Under the strategic alliance, the three firms will create a joint consortium, named HMM+K2, that will allow the shipping firms to share ships under a code-sharing scheme, as well as separate assets, ranging from containers to storage, they said.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks gain, led by Samsung Electronics, foreign buying

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose Tuesday as Samsung Electronics continued to advance on expectations of better earnings, supported by foreign investors buying shares. The Korean won gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.81 points, or 0.88 percent, to close at 2,043.97. Trade volume was moderate at 265 million shares worth 3.69 trillion won (US$3.06 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 475 to 321.

SM Group's board disapproves of acquisition of Hanjin assets

SEOUL -- SM Group, a mid-sized business conglomerate that owns South Korea's No. 2 bulk carrier Korea Line Corp., said Tuesday that its board has refused to approve a plan to acquire one of Hanjin Shipping Co.'s major assets.

SM Group said its board of directors turned down the proposal to acquire the troubled shipper's U.S.-Asia route at a stakeholders meeting.

Financial uncertainty deepens, top officials warn

SEOUL -- South Korea's top economic policymakers issued warning messages Tuesday about financial uncertainties this year, stressing the need for thorough risk management.

"When it comes to internal and external conditions, it's difficult to see even an inch forward," Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said during a New Year's meeting here with government officials and leaders in the financial industry.

(LEAD) Air Force taps 3 female pilots as vice squadron leaders

SEOUL -- South Korea's Air Force said Tuesday it appointed three female pilots as vice commanders of operational squadrons for the first time in its history.

Last month, the three were promoted as the second-in-command of three fighter squadrons, an Air Force spokesman said.

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