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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 January 17, 2017

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

N.K. vows dual pursuit of nukes, economy ahead of Trump's inauguration

SEOUL -- North Korea vowed Tuesday to stick to its dual pursuit of nuclear weapons and economic growth ahead of an inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump slated for later this week.

North Korea made it clear that it will continue to develop nuclear weapons in tandem with boosting the country's moribund economy, commonly known as the "byeongjin" policy, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"By firmly sticking to the policy, we will soar as a great political, military and economic power," the KCNA said.

Acting president assures foreign diplomats of policy stability

SEOUL -- South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Tuesday reassured foreign diplomats based in Seoul that the country will "unwaveringly and consistently" manage state affairs despite the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.

Hwang made the remarks during a meeting with more than a dozen foreign ambassadors in Seoul, an event that his aides said was intended to underscore his commitment to maintaining foreign policy consistency.

"The Republic of Korea is a country that has come to where it stands now after having tided over countless challenges," Hwang said.

(LEAD) Korean shares edge up on institutional buying
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL-- South Korean shares ended higher Tuesday, as market bellwether Samsung Electronics rebounded despite its leadership crisis. The South Korean currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 7.7 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,071.87, snapping a two-day losing streak.

It was helped by Samsung's rise after declining two sessions in a row. On Monday, special prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for Samsung's vice chairman and heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong on bribery, embezzlement and perjury charges, as they are investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-hye. A Seoul court will soon make the decision on whether to issue the warrant.

(LEAD) Daewoo Shipbuilding CEO grilled over accounting fraud
(ATTN: UPDATES with indictment of Chosun Ilbo's former chief editorial writer in paras 6-7)

SEOUL -- The head of cash-strapped Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. was questioned by prosecutors Tuesday over allegations the company cooked the books to cover up its losses.

Jung Sung-leep, 66, appeared before the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office as a suspect on charges of violating the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies.

(2nd LD) S. Korean man abducted for ransom last year murdered by Philippine policemen
(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in paras 3, 8-12)

SEOUL-- A South Korean man who was kidnapped for ransom in the Philippines last year was recently found to have been killed by three local police officers and a former policeman, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The law enforcement officers and ex-policeman were behind the abduction of the 50-something businessman, surnamed Ji, on Oct. 18 in Angeles City, a ministry official said, quoting probe results conducted by Filipino authorities and provided to Seoul on Monday.

S. Korea mulling sanctions against Syria over chemical weapons use

SEOUL -- South Korea is considering sanctions against Syria for the regime's illegal use of chemical weapons, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

"The South Korean government expresses its deep concerns over Syria's use of chemical weapons," spokesman Cho June-hyuck said in a regular briefing, referring to recent findings by the Joint Investigative Mechanism by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations.

The reports by the joint team found the Syrian regime used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people. Three attacks using chlorine have been confirmed in Syrian regions from 2014-2015.

Former U.N. chief visits hometown of late liberal leader

GIMHAE -- Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a prominent presidential aspirant, visited the grave of a former liberal leader in the southern city of Gimhae as part of his nationwide tour to build grassroots support ahead of a key election this year.

Ban paid homage to late President Roh Moo-hyun at his grave in Bongha Village in the city, 449 kilometers south of Seoul. Since Roh's suicide amid a corruption probe in 2009, the village has become a symbolic pilgrimage site for liberal politicians.

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