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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:21 January 18, 2017

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

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(LEAD) Ban touts national unity by visiting liberal, conservative bastions

GWANGJU -- Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted his likely campaign credo of "grand integration" by visiting both the liberal and conservative bastions of South Korea on Wednesday as he is angling for the country's top elected office.

Since his return to South Korea last Thursday after his 10 years of service at the world body, Ban has been touring the country to meet with voters across the political spectrum in what is seen as a move to gauge public sentiment and build grassroots support.

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(LEAD) Korea's last remaining wartime sex slavery in China dies at 94

SHANGHAI/SEOUL -- The last remaining Korean victim of the Japanese wartime sex slavery in China passed away on Wednesday, the South Korean government said. She was 94.

Park Cha-soon's death brought the number of survivors down to 39 among a total of 239 known Korean victims.

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(LEAD) Korean shares tick down on cautious sentiment

SEOUL -- South Korean shares ended slightly lower after wavering between gains and losses. The South Korean currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 1.33 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,070.54.

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Park's lawyers ask Constitutional Court to exclude key evidence

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye's lawyers asked the Constitutional Court Wednesday to exclude a key piece of evidence from her impeachment trial as they claim the material was gained through "illegal" means.

On Tuesday, the court finalized a list of investigation records and material it will use in its deliberation of Park's impeachment, including several notebooks kept by former presidential aide An Chong-bum.

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Moon vows to create 1.31 million jobs

SEOUL -- Moon Jae-in, former head of the Democratic Party, on Wednesday vowed to create 1.31 million jobs when he becomes South Korea's president, claiming the goal is viable if employers keep working hours.

"The government will first create more jobs in the public sector," Moon said, claiming the area currently takes up 7.6 percent of local jobs, hovering below the average of 21.3 percent tallied for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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S. Korea to increase 5G network bandwidth

SEOUL -- South Korea will increase the bandwidth allocated for the fifth-generation network (5G) by 2018 to accommodate sharply increasing data traffic, the science ministry said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said it will newly secure the bandwidth up to 1,300 megahertz (MHz) and allocate the parts to the country's three mobile carriers.

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N.K. repeats threat to launch ICBM as Trump is set to take office this week

SEOUL -- North Korea on Wednesday defended its move to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as an act of self-defense against the United States, warning that no one can take issue with Pyongyang's plan.

North Korea's move to launch the missile would contribute to bringing peace and stability to Northeast Asia and the world, the country's main newspaper Rodong Sinmun said.

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Banks' survival at risk amid lower margins, low growth

SEOUL -- The head of a banks' association in South Korea voiced concerns Wednesday about local banks' survival due to worsening margins and a lack of growth drivers.

"Banking services will continue to be in demand, but it's time to answer the fundamental question of whether banks will be able to continue their businesses," Ha Yung-ku, chairman of the Korea Federation of Banks, said at a news conference.

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Hyundai, Kia log record sales in Europe in 2016

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. -- South Korea's two largest automakers -- logged the largest annual sales ever in Europe last year with their combined market share surpassing 6 percent, industry data showed Wednesday.

According to data by a European automobile association, the corporate duo sold a combined 940,712 cars in Europe last year. This marked the first time that their combined sales surpassed the 900,000 mark there.

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S. Korea-Japan ties going beyond 'difficult history' also good for U.S.: Victor Cha

SEOUL -- Strong South Korea-Japan ties that go beyond their "difficult history" will also be good for the United States, as it needs help from its key Asian allies in resolving challenges lying ahead in the region, a U.S. expert on Northeast Asian affairs said Wednesday.

Victor Cha made the remarks in response to a question over what impact it could have on South Korea's alliance with the U.S. if Korea seeks renegotiation of a landmark deal on Japan's wartime sexual slavery.

(END)

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