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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 February 08, 2017

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

S. Korea, Australia extend currency swap deal

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank said Wednesday it has extended a currency swap agreement with its Australian counterpart, a move that could further strengthen bilateral financial cooperation.

The three-year deal, which went into effect earlier in the day, allows for the exchange of up to 9 trillion won or AU$10 billion in local currencies between the two central banks. Under the initial swap deal in 2014, the exchange of local currencies was set at up to 5 trillion won or AU$5 billion.

N. Korea threatens pre-emptive strike ahead of Armed Forces Day

SEOUL -- North Korea has threatened a pre-emptive strike against South Korea if provoked as it marked a key military anniversary, a state media reported Wednesday.

Hwang Pyong-so, director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army (KPA), made the remarks during an event in Pyongyang on Tuesday, one day before the 69th anniversary of the foundation of the armed forces. according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

S. Korea asks China not to buy Kaesong complex goods

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry has asked China to notify its people not to buy goods produced at the now-shuttered inter-Korean industrial park in North Korea, a government official said Wednesday.

The government said that it has identified some attempts by North Korean authorities to sell South Korean owned goods made at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, including rice cookers, to buyers in China.

Court ruling casts questions on South Korea's other aged nuclear reactors

SEOUL -- A court ruling overturning a government decision to extend operation of a nuclear reactor has brought the country's other aged reactors back into the spotlight, about a third of them due to expire in lifespan within 10 years.

South Korea has 25 reactors currently running as of Wednesday. According to the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC), eight of them have expiry dates in the years between 2023 and 2027. While most of the reactors were initially given 40 years of operational license, two were given 30 years.

Growth of S. Korea's outbound tourism outpaces domestic travel

SEOUL -- The average growth rate of outgoing tourism from South Korea has far outpaced that of domestic tourism, data showed Wednesday.

The number of Koreans who traveled abroad rose by an average annual growth rate of 10.4 percent to 19 million in 2015, from 12 million in 2011, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a report submitted to Rep. Yeom Dong-yeol of the Saenuri Party.

More South Koreans see movies alone: market report

SEOUL -- South Korea has seen a rapid increase in the number of people going to see movies alone over the past five years, a market report showed Wednesday.

The group increased to 13.3 percent of the total audience last year from 7.7 percent in 2012 and 10.7 percent in 2015, according to the report released by CGV Research Center that analyzed the multi-screen cinema chain's ticket sales.

Woori Bank's Q4 net down 29 pct on one-off costs

SEOUL -- Woori Bank, a South Korean lender, said Wednesday it has posted a 29-percent on-year decline in net profit for the fourth quarter due to increased one-off costs.

Net profit fell to 155.4 billion won (US$135 million) in the October-December period on a consolidated basis, compared to 219.2 billion won a year earlier, the lender said in a statement.

(LEAD) Shinhan Financial 2016 net rises to 2.7 tln won

SEOUL -- Major banking group Shinhan Financial Group said Wednesday its net profit jumped more than 17 percent on-year in 2016, led by an improvement in the earnings of flagship subsidiary Shinhan Bank.

Net profit rose 17.2 percent to 2.77 trillion won (US$2.35 billion) last year, the third consecutive year for the group to post more than 2 trillion won in net income. It also marks Shinhan's second-biggest earnings in its history after 3.1 trillion won recorded in 2011.

Samsung Pay launched in Thailand

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that its mobile-payment service, Samsung Pay, was officially launched in Thailand.

The official launch in Thailand is the latest move by Samsung to expand the mobile-payment service globally.

The company has launched Samsung Pay in the United States, China, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Brazil.

Freestyle skiing, snowboard test events for PyeongChang 2018 start this week

SEOUL -- Freestyle skiing and snowboard test events for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be staged this week, as South Korean athletes eye strong finishes at home before the quadrennial competition.

The organizers said two International Ski Federation (FIS) competitions will take place at Bokwang Snow Park in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, some 180km east of Seoul. The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup starts on Friday and will run until Feb. 18, while the FIS Snowboard World Cup is set for Sunday to Feb. 19.

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