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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:35 February 03, 2017

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

(2nd LD) Investigators attempt to raid presidential office over scandal

SEOUL -- South Korea's special investigators appeared at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Friday to execute a search warrant where President Park Geun-hye was named a bribery suspect in an influence-peddling scandal rocking the country.

The investigation team looking into the alleged wrongdoings visited Cheong Wa Dae to secure more data ahead of a face-to-face interrogation of the president that is likely to take place later this month. The Seoul Central District Court on Thursday issued the warrant for a search and seizure.

(LEAD) N.K. leader sacks chief of spy agency: Seoul

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sacked the chief of the country's spy agency on suspected abuse of power and executed many of its officials following surveillance conducted by the ruling party, South Korea's government said Friday.

Kim Won-hong, 72, was dismissed from the head of the Ministry of State Security in mid-January after the probe by the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) found the agency had abused its authority, according to Seoul's unification ministry. His military rank was also demoted to major general from full general, it said.

S. Korea's current account surplus narrows to US$98.68 billion in 2016

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus narrowed 6.8 percent in 2016 from a year earlier due mainly to a decline in oil prices, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's current account surplus reached US$98.68 billion in 2016, compared with a surplus of $105.94 billion a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Chinese visitors on incentive tour expected to drop amid diplomatic tension

SEOUL -- The number of large tourist groups from China to South Korea is expected to drop, a local tourism agency said Friday, amid growing diplomatic tension over Seoul's plan to deploy a U.S. missile defense system.

According to the state-run Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), the number of Chinese visitors arriving here on incentive tours with their companies came to about 130,000 in 2016, boosting the overall number of Chinese tourists to a record high of 8.04 million.

(3rd LD) Trump says 'Thank you, Samsung' for considering building factory in U.S.

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- U.S. President Donald Trump praised Samsung Electronics on Thursday for considering building a home appliances factory in the United States.

"Thank you, @Samsung! We would love to have you!" Trump said in a Twitter message.

S. Korea's FX reserves up in January

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign exchange reserves rose slightly in January from a month earlier due to increased gains from investment in foreign assets and an increase in the dollar-converted value of non-dollar currencies, central bank data showed Friday.

As of the end of January, the country's foreign exchange reserves came to US$374.04 billion, up $2.94 billion from the previous month, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a statement.

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