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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 January 16, 2017

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

(News Focus) Samsung, business circles embarrassed by Lee's possible arrest

SEOUL -- As special prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for Samsung Group's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, as a bribery suspect over his role in a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye, the scandal and Lee's possible arrest are expected to deal a huge blow to the reputation of Samsung, as well as Samsung family's carefully drafted plan to put him on top of the company.

It is not clear at this stage whether the 49-year-old Lee, groomed to run the country's biggest business conglomerate, will serve prison time, but the scandal put a controversial 2015 merger of Samsung's two affiliates back in the spotlight.

(2nd LD) Acting president calls for continued 'across-the-board pressure' to induce N.K. denuclearization

SEOUL -- South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday called for continued efforts to induce North Korea's denuclearization through "across-the-board" pressure amid growing threats from the communist country.

During a meeting of top security and diplomatic officials, Hwang also stressed the need for earnest efforts to strengthen policy coordination and cooperation with the incoming U.S. government slated to take office Friday.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks edge down on profit taking

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended lower Monday on profit taking and concerns about a possible arrest of Samsung Group's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong over bribery charges. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 12.62 points, or 0.61 percent, to end at 2064.17.

(2nd LD) Arrest warrant sought for Samsung heir in corruption probe

SEOUL -- Special prosecutors on Monday requested an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group's de facto leader, on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury in connection with an influence-peddling scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment.

Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., is accused of giving or promising to give some 43 billion won (US$36.3 million) worth of bribes to Park's jailed friend Choi Soon-sil in return for the state-run pension fund's backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates, the team's spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told a regular press briefing.

(Yonhap Interview) Mamamoo proves 'quality' can turn niche into mainstream

SEOUL -- From a business perspective, the creation of girl group Mamamoo back in 2014 was a risk in itself. Female teams back then were divided largely into two camps: The wide-eyed and innocent schoolgirl crowd, and the spunky, in-your-face "girl crush" clique.

Then-newcomer Mamamoo was neither. The four girls weren't "eye-catching" per se. Physically, they lacked the stature of other female artists. But what they offered and delivered was a strong stage presence powered by up-beat music ranging from R&B to blues and funk.

FTC slaps Japanese auto parts makers with 1.78 bln-won fine

SEJONG -- South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Monday that it has imposed a combined fine of 1.78 billion won (US$1.5 million) on two Japanese auto parts companies for price-fixing allegations.

Denso Corp. and NGK Spark Plug Co. allegedly conspired to fix prices in an auction for a gas emissions sensor arranged by global car giant General Motors Co. in 2008, according to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).

S. Korea to increase investment related to 4th industrial revolution

SEOUL -- South Korea will expand investments to secure a new growth strategy to cope with the fast-paced industrial transformation, dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, the science minister said Monday.

The remarks were made during a meeting between officials of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and executives of major tech firms that participated in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

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