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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:46 January 20, 2017

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

Court holds hearing on arrest warrants for culture minister, former Park aide over artist blacklist

SEOUL -- A South Korean court held a hearing on Friday to decide whether to issue warrants to arrest the country's culture minister and a former presidential chief of staff over their suspected involvement in the blacklisting of cultural figures deemed critical of the conservative government.

An independent counsel team, looking into an influence-peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her confidante, on Wednesday requested the warrants for Minister Cho Yoon-sun and former top secretary Kim Ki-choon on charges of abuse of authority and perjury.

(LEAD) (Yonhap Interview) India soon to report implementation of U.N. sanctions against N. Korea: envoy

SEOUL -- India will soon submit a report on its implementation of U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea, which include the suspension of an Indian space technology training program for North Koreans, New Delhi's top envoy to Seoul said.

"In our case, our implementation report takes a lot of time to put together. ... It's a fairly lengthy process. But we take things seriously," Indian Ambassador to South Korea Vikram Doraiswami said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency at his embassy in central Seoul on Wednesday.

Lotte set to approve exchange of land for THAAD deployment

SEOUL -- South Korean conglomerate Lotte will likely relinquish its golf club in the rural town of Seongju so the land can be used for the deployment of a U.S. air missile defense system, informed sources said Friday, despite possible repercussions for its business in China.

According to officials from Lotte Group, Lotte International -- the owner of the Seongju golf club -- is expected to approve an exchange of the club for a piece of land in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province, currently owned by the military.

S. Korea, U.S., Japan to conduct drills to tackle N.K. missiles

SEOUL -- South Korea, the United States and Japan on Friday kicked off a naval exercise aimed at countering North Korean missiles amid growing signs that Pyongyang is ready to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The Navy said Aegis-equipped destroyers from the three countries will take part in the three-day maritime exercise to detect and trace North Korean missiles under simulated conditions.

Former U.N. chief meets political bigwigs

SEOUL -- Former U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday visited parliamentary leaders as he revved up a politically-tinged campaign to build public support and chart his path towards the country's top elected office.

A day after his courtesy call to former President Lee Myung-bak, Ban visited National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun and two vice parliamentary speakers -- Rep. Shin Jae-cheol of the ruling Saenuri Party and Rep. Park Joo-sun of the minor opposition People's Party.

McCain slams China for 'bullying' S. Korea over THAAD

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) slammed China on Thursday for "bullying" South Korea for its decision to host the U.S. THAAD missile defense system aimed at defending against North Korea, urging Beijing to use its "considerable influence" to rein in Pyongyang.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also said that Chinese bullying of the Asian ally is "unacceptable" and said he hopes the incoming administration of Donald Trump ensures U.S. security commitments.

Deutsche Bank ordered to compensate investors for stock manipulation in class action suit

SEOUL -- A lower court ordered Deutsche Bank on Friday to compensate investors for damage it caused by manipulating stock prices, in the nation's first-ever ruling on a securities-related class action suit.

The Seoul Central District Court ordered the Germany-based financial services company to pay a total of 8.55 billion won (US$7.28 million) to six plaintiffs who invested in local equity-linked securities (ELS) products in 2007.

(Yonhap Feature) Rice evolves into hot ingredient in dessert market

SEJONG -- Rice is gradually disappearing from Koreans' main menu due to their changing tastes, but it is rapidly evolving into a favorite among side dish marketers these days.

For thousands of years, rice has been the only staple food for the Korean people. As they eat three rice-based meals a day, a big bowl filled with white steamed rice was a symbol of an affluent and wealthy life throughout Korean history.

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