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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:36 February 08, 2017

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

(2nd LD) N.K. sure to resume provocations after S. Korean election: Victor Cha

WASHINGTON -- North Korea is exercising restraint from nuclear and missile tests to avoid galvanizing conservatives in South Korea ahead of a presidential election, and is certain to resume provocations once the leadership crisis in the South is resolved, a top U.S. expert on Korea said Tuesday.

The assessment from Victor Cha, a Georgetown University professor and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, breaks with more common perceptions that Pyongyang is holding off on action until the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump puts together its North Korea policy.

(News Focus) Resumption of Kaesong complex to be hotly debated amid sanctions regime

SEOUL -- A possible resumption of the now-shuttered joint industrial park will likely emerge as a controversial issue for South Korea's next administration, possibly sparking a row over the country violating U.N. sanctions resolutions against North Korea, experts in Seoul said Wednesday.

With the closure of the factory zone marking its first anniversary this week, whether to resume the Kaesong Industrial Complex is gaining attention in the political arena as liberal presidential hopefuls are voicing the need to restart operations.

(News Focus) Korean construction companies pin high hopes on overseas projects

SEOUL -- South Korean construction companies, led by Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., are eager to bag lucrative overseas deals this year as relatively high oil prices may usher in large-scale construction projects from the Middle East and other regions, industry sources said Wednesday.

According to the International Contractors Association of Korea, local construction firms clinched overseas deals valued at a combined US$28.19 billion last year, down 38.9 percent from a year earlier, marking the lowest since 2006, when the comparable figure was $16.46 billion.

Cheong Wa Dae slams independent counsel for leaking info on timing of president's questioning

SEOUL -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday lambasted special prosecutors for leaking the schedule set for investigators to question President Park Geun-hye over her role in the corruption scandal that led to her impeachment, further clouding the prospects of the unprecedented inquiry.

Some media outlets reported on the day that Cheong Wa Dae and the probe team, led by Independent Counsel Park Young-soo, had agreed to the plan to question Park face to face at her presidential office on Thursday.

(Yonhap Feature) S. Koreans express woes, jitters over U.S. immigration ban

SEOUL -- Less than two weeks have passed since U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring immigrants from seven largely Muslim countries.

The repercussions have been far-reaching with mass protests breaking out across the nation and around the world to challenge what some see as a direct threat to the very foundations the United States was built upon.

Hyundai Motor's donations spark doubt over transparency

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top automaker, didn't report cash donations to two controversial foundations to its board two years ago, sources said Wednesday, sparking questions over managerial transparency.

In October and December 2015, Hyundai Motor donated a combined 6.88 billion won (US$6 million) to the foundations controlled by Choi Soon-sil, President Park Geun-hye's friend at the center of a massive influence-peddling and corruption scandal that has led to Park's impeachment.

White House: Trump stands with S. Korea, committed to preventing N. Korean hostile acts

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump wants to reassure South Korea that the U.S. stands with the Asian ally and will prevent any further hostile actions from North Korea, the White House said Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer made the remark at a regular briefing, recalling a phone conversation that Trump had with Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn last week.

Hankook Tire to complete new U.S. facility, create 1,200 new jobs

SEOUL -- Hankook Tire, South Korea's leading tire maker, is set to begin hiring over 1,000 new workers in the United States following the completion of its new production facility there, company officials said Wednesday.

They said the company has already hired some 300 employees to work at its new plant in Tennessee.

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