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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:54 January 13, 2017

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

Amid 'comfort woman' dispute, foreign minister says statue in front of foreign mission 'undesirable'

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign minister said Friday that installing an object in front of a foreign mission is deemed "undesirable" amid a diplomatic row with Japan over a new statue symbolic of the Korean victims of Japan's wartime enslavement.

"In the international community, it is generally considered undesirable to establish certain facilities or sculptures in front of diplomatic and consulate offices," Yun Byung-se told a parliamentary session.

Hyundai Motor Group seeks to freeze salary of senior office workers

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea's largest automotive group, plans to freeze the wages of its officials in managerial posts, company officials said Friday.

The wage freeze, if taken, will be the first of its kind since 2009.

"The company is already taking emergency measures to overcome many difficulties, such as an economic downturn, slowing sales and a drop in operating profit, while company executives have voluntarily cut their own wages by 10 percent," the group said in a recent e-mail sent to all company employees.

S. Korea sells dollar-denominated FX stabilization bonds at record low rate

SEJONG -- South Korea has issued 10-year foreign exchange stabilization bonds worth up to US$1 billion at the lowest-ever rate on stable demand, the finance ministry here said Friday.

The dollar-denoted FX bonds were priced at 55 basis points, or 0.55 percent, over the 10-year U.S. Treasury to yield 2.871 percent, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

(Yonhap Interview) County chief wants to make fishing festival an extended-stay event

HWACHEON, South Korea -- Choi Moon-soon, head of the Hwacheon County and top organizer of the 2017 Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, said Friday that this year will be the starting point in making the annual event one in which visitors stay for more than a day.

In an interview on the eve of the festival's opening, Choi said the organizers expanded nighttime activities this year so that visitors can take happy memories with them during their overnight stays in Hwacheon.

Jeju Air to buy 3 Boeing 737-800s for 2018 delivery

SEOUL -- Jeju Air said Friday it has signed a contract to buy three Boeing 737-800s for delivery in 2018.

Jeju Air is the first South Korean budget carrier to purchase new airplanes as South Korean low cost carriers have flown leased airplanes alone.

Jeju Air currently has 26 leased airplanes.

Naver to test self-driving cars soon

SEOUL -- Naver Corp. said Friday that it will test self-driving cars on roads soon, as South Korea's largest Internet portal taps deeper into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector which is considered a future engine of growth.

Naver's autonomous vehicles have already passed a performance test conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and are awaiting permission for test runs, officials said.

Two post-rock bands of S. Korea, Japan to play joint gig in Seoul

SEOUL -- Experimental post-rock bands Mono and Jambinai will play a joint concert in Seoul later this month, according to organizers Friday.

The joint gig will be held Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Platform Changdong 61 in northern Seoul. It is part of Mono's world tour promoting its ninth studio album "Requiem For Hell" released last October.


Court sentences ex-president's brother to 15 months in jail in corruption case

SEOUL -- A Seoul court on Friday sentenced the elder brother of former President Lee Myung-bak to 15 months in jail in a corruption case involving South Korea's top steelmaker POSCO.

The Seoul Central District Court did not immediately detain Lee Sang-deuk, taking into account his age and health.

Lee was indicted in late 2015 on charges that he helped three companies gain financially from transactions with POSCO in exchange for peddling influence to solve one of the steelmaker's key problems --- a height limitation on its factory buildings.


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