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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:58 January 09, 2017

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

(2nd LD) Japan envoys leave S. Korea in protest over 'comfort woman' statue

SEOUL -- The Japanese ambassador and consul general in South Korea returned to Tokyo on Monday as a diplomatic row deepened over a recently erected statue that condemns Japan's wartime atrocities.

Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine boarded a flight to Japan at Gimpo International Airport, in western Seoul, earlier in the day in a gesture of protest over the recent installation of the statue.

(2nd LD) Samsung executives grilled over influence-peddling scandal

SEOUL -- Two senior executives of South Korea's largest business group Samsung were questioned by investigators Monday as they accelerated the probe into allegations surrounding the influence-peddling scandal that has led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment.

Choi Gee-sung, a vice chairman, and Chang Choong-ki, a president at the conglomerate, appeared in the office of the independent counsel team. They lead the group's future strategy planning division believed to be the de facto control tower that makes key decisions for Samsung and is closely linked to the ongoing scandal.

Gov't mulls nine-day 'golden' holiday in May: minister

SEOUL -- The government will consider designating temporary holidays in May this year to create a nine-day "golden" holiday week designed to encourage spending at home, the labor minister said Monday.

Lee Ki-kweon unveiled the plan to reporters at the government complex in Sejong, saying the government could designate May 2 and 4 as temporary holidays to bridge Labor Day (May 1), Buddha's Birthday (May 3) and Children's Day (May 5). Under the plan, the May holidays would last from April 29 to May 7.

(LEAD) Saenuri's 8-term lawmaker accuses interim head of carrying out purge

SEOUL -- Rep. Suh Chung-won of the ruling Saenuri Party on Monday sued its interim head for allegedly forcing loyalists of President Park Geun-hye to leave the party, adding In Myung-jin has also falsely defamed its lawmakers.

The move came as the interim head, requested that loyalists leave the party by last week as a sign of taking responsibility for the alleged influence-peddling scandal that resulted in Park's impeachment in December. The so-called purge of loyalists mainly targeted the eight-term lawmaker.

Ex-nat'l baseball team star retires to become coach

SEOUL -- Former national baseball team star Ko Young-min has retired to become a coach, his new club said Monday.

The KT Wiz in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said they only need to finish up some administrative formalities to complete their hiring of the former All-Star second baseman. A KT official said Ko will likely work as a coach with the team's minor league affiliate.

Seoul mayor says main opposition hasty to prepare primary election rules

SEOUL -- Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, a potential contender in the next presidential race, said Monday the main opposition Democratic Party's steps to prepare rules for the primary is a hasty move, while expressing concern over the pro-Moon Jae-in faction's dominance over party affairs.

"The people are focusing on the ouster (of President Park Geun-hye). It is doubtful whether it is right to officially (discuss) the primary rules at the break of the new year, even when the people still distrust the political realm," Park said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency.

SK hynix releases more advanced mobile DRAM

SEOUL -- SK hynix Inc. has released a more advanced memory chip for smartphones that will offer higher data storage for mobile devices, company officials said Monday.

The 8-gigabyte LPDDR4X chip boasts the "world's highest density" and features faster data processing speed while consuming less electricity, SK hynix said in a statement.

Stocks almost unchanged, as Samsung Electronics hits new record high

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks finished almost unchanged on Monday as Samsung Electronics, the country's top market cap, continued to rise on the back of an upbeat earnings forecast. The Korean won fell sharply against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 0.34 point, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,048.78. Trade volume was moderate at 395 million shares worth 3.79 trillion won (US$3.14 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 551 to 257.

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