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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:26 February 07, 2017

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

(LEAD) Resumption of Kaesong complex could spark row over U.N. sanctions violation

SEOUL -- A resumption of the now-shuttered joint industrial complex could spark a row over the breaking of the latest U.N. sanctions resolutions against North Korea, a government official said Tuesday.

With the shutdown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex marking the first anniversary this week, whether to resume the factory zone is emerging as a key issue, particularly among presidential hopefuls.

(LEAD) Military harnesses big data to boost capabilities

SEOUL -- South Korea's military will expand the use of big data this year in predicting enemy threats and bolstering its defense readiness, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

Defense officials, venture firms and experts gathered at a seminar in Seoul to discuss ways to further utilize big data in beefing up the military's defense capabilities against North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

Survey shows less than half of S. Koreans interested in PyeongChang Winter Olympics

SEOUL -- A nationwide survey showed Tuesday that less than half of South Koreans are interested in the first Winter Olympics the country will host next year.

According to Gallup Korea's survey of 1,003 adults on Feb. 1 and 2, 48 percent said they were interested in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, while 49 percent said they weren't.

(LEAD) Ex-minister, ex-presidential chief of staff indicted over artists blacklist

SEOUL -- A former culture minister and an ex-presidential chief of staff were indicted Tuesday over allegations they created a blacklist of cultural figures deemed critical of the Park Geun-hye administration, investigators said.

The probe team, led by Independent Counsel Park Young-soo, said ex-Minister Cho Yoon-sun and former top presidential secretary Kim Ki-choon have been charged with abuse of authority and coercion for allegedly interfering in ministry officials' duties by creating and managing the blacklist to deny those artists state support.

1,000 film industry figures demand state agency chief, Busan mayor resign

SEOUL -- A group of more than 1,000 movie industry figures on Tuesday demanded the state film agency chief and the Busan mayor resign over their alleged oppression of liberal filmmakers.

They claimed in a news conference in Seoul that Kim Se-hoon, chairman of the Korean Film Council, arbitrarily ran its support program to exclude filmmakers who are on the blacklist of nearly 10,000 cultural figures critical of the conservative Park Geun-hye government.

S. Korea to highlight benefits of FTA with U.S. to guard against protectionism

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to reach out to the new U.S. administration as well as American congressmen and business circles to highlight the benefits of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, announcing a set of economic diplomacy efforts to combat protectionism.

S. Korea mulls option to refer China to WTO for THAAD retaliation: official

SEOUL -- South Korea is currently reviewing if China's recent trade actions, taken after Seoul's plans to deploy U.S. missile defense systems on its soil, can be referred to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a high-ranking official said Tuesday.

"As we may happen to need to take legal action in the future, a working-level examination is under way on (the illegality of) all measures taken by the Chinese central and regional governments as well as the private sector following the Seoul deployment decision," the official told reporters.

Opposition bigwig announces merger with People's Party

SEOUL -- Sohn Hak-kyu, an opposition heavyweight, announced his nascent political group's merger with the liberal People's Party on Tuesday, as the presidential aspirant apparently seeks to boost his stature ahead of a key election this year.

With the merger between Sohn's group, roughly translated as the "council for people's sovereignty and reform," and the minor opposition party, he is expected to join a primary race against Ahn Cheol-soo, the party's former leader, to lock in the presidential nomination.

High court upholds 4-year jail term for S. Korean for Yasukuni bombing

TOKYO -- The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced a South Korean man to four years in prison for detonating a time bomb in a public restroom at a controversial Tokyo war shrine in 2015.

The 28-year-old suspect, identified only by his surname Chon, was found guilty in July last year by the Tokyo District Court of breaking into the premises of the Yasukuni Shrine on Nov. 23, 2015, and setting up the bomb in a public restroom.

SK Innovation seeks more M&As this year: CEO

SEOUL-- SK Innovation Co., South Korea's top oil refiner, will shoot for more mergers and acquisitions this year, which will lead to a boost in corporate value, its president has said.

Kim Jun made the remarks at a gathering of top executives of its affiliates in Seoul on Thursday.


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