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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:47 January 11, 2017

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

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(2nd LD) Samsung heir summoned as suspect in bribery probe

SEOUL -- A special investigation team looking into an influence-peddling scandal centered on President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend has summoned Samsung's heir apparent over allegations the group gave undue financial support to the confidante in return for business-related favors, its spokesman said Wednesday.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., has been summoned to undergo questioning as a suspect on charges of bribery on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told a regular press briefing.

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(LEAD) Volkswagen's Korea unit executives indicted in emissions scandal

SEOUL -- Seoul prosecutors on Wednesday indicted former and incumbent chief executives of Volkswagen's Korea operations on charges of fabricating official documents, wrapping up a year-long investigation into the German carmaker's emissions cheating scandal.

Johannes Thammer, who has led Audi Volkswagen Korea (AVK) since late 2012, was charged with violating the Clean Air Conservation Act to win sales approval from the local authorities, according to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

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(2nd LD) North Korea has 50 kg of weapons-grade plutonium: Seoul's defense white paper

SEOUL -- South Korea said Wednesday the North has made "considerable" progress in nuclear capabilities recently, citing the increased amount of its fissile material and improved warhead miniaturization technology.

In its 2016 defense white paper, the Ministry of National Defense estimated that North Korea has some 50 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, sufficient to manufacture 10 nuclear weapons. In 2014, the biennial report estimated the North's stockpile of plutonium at about 40 kilograms.

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(LEAD) S. Korean food industry suffers from falling exports to China

SEOUL -- The South Korean food industry is feeling the pinch of the row between South Korea and China over Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. missile defense system on its soil despite Beijing's objections, industry sources said Wednesday.

China is believed to be taking economic retaliation against Seoul's decision in July to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on South Korean soil early this year, although South Korea says the missile system will not target China, but threats from North Korea.

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(3rd LD) Cardinals closer Oh Seung-hwan added to nat'l team for World Baseball Classic

SEOUL -- St. Louis Cardinals closer Oh Seung-hwan on Wednesday was added to the national baseball team for the upcoming World Baseball Classic (WBC).

Despite recording 19 saves with a 1.92 ERA as a major league rookie last year, Oh was initially kept off the 28-man roster announced in November because of off-field trouble. A South Korean court fined him in January 2016 on illegal overseas gambling charges, and manager Kim In-sik faced huge backlash when he first hinted he would look past Oh's gambling history to pick him.

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(News Focus) China steps up retaliation on THAAD, S. Korea stuck with few options: experts

SEOUL -- China has stepped up efforts to hurt South Korea for its decision to allow the stationing of an advanced missile defense system on its soil with punitive measures to likely intensify going forward, experts predicted Wednesday.

The Seoul government, however, seems to have few countermeasures at its disposal, spawning concerns that it could face "costly" consequences if it fails to handle the situation in an effective manner, observers claimed.

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(News Focus) S. Korea likely to carry one major leaguer to World Baseball Classic

SEOUL -- When all is said and done, St. Louis Cardinals' closer Oh Seung-hwan may end up being the only major league player on the South Korean roster for this year's World Baseball Classic (WBC), a huge letdown for a country that had eight of its own play in the bigs last year.

Manager Kim In-sik on Wednesday added Oh to his roster, ending weeks of speculation that the right-hander with some off-field issues would eventually make his way to the team.
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