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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:32 February 09, 2017

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

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(LEAD) (News Focus) Amid Trump's calls for NATO burden sharing, experts say S. Korea different from NATO

WASHINGTON -- Three weeks into office, U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken with many world leaders, and one fixture sentence that appeared in every White House readout of his calls with NATO member nations is "the importance of all NATO allies sharing the (monetary) burden of defense spending."

Beginning with his Jan. 28 call with French President Francois Hollande, Trump has made it a rule to ask for more burden sharing in conversations with Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Feb. 4, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Feb. 5 and Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Feb. 7.

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(Yonhap Feature) Frozen job market makes students reluctant to leave school

SEOUL -- When Kim Joo-young entered Ewha Womans University in 2011, she didn't imagine she would still be on campus six years later. She expected to have already graduated, landed a well-paying job and started to build a promising career following four years of study.

That dream is two years behind schedule, and she might need even more time to reach it. Knowing that her attempt to get a job at a financial firm fell through in late December, the 26-year-old grudgingly decided to put off graduation once again, unsure when she will be able to leave school once and for all.

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Tillerson says S. Korea already paying 'large amounts' for U.S. troops

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said South Korea is already paying large amounts to support American troops stationed in the country and the two countries will be able to produce an "equitable burden-sharing" deal.

Tillerson made the remark in a written answer to questions from Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) before his confirmation as secretary, responding to a question whether he would be willing to pull U.S. troops out of South Korea and Japan unless a "fair" burden-sharing agreement cannot be reached.

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N.K. presumed to be holding 280 kg of highly enriched uranium: expert

SEOUL -- North Korea is presumed to possess around 280 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, which, combined with the country's plutonium stockpile, is enough to make upwards of 45 nuclear weapons, a South Korean expert said Thursday.

Lee Sang-hyun, vice president at the research planning division of the Sejong Institute, told a forum that Pyongyang may deploy various types of nuclear weapons and missiles before the end of 2020, given the current pace of development.

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Average salary in top baseball league reaches all-time high

SEOUL -- The average annual salary in the top South Korean baseball league reached an all-time high this season, data showed Thursday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said players from the league's 10 clubs will make 239.8 million won (US$209,345) on average, up from the previous record of 216.2 million won from last season.

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(LEAD) Kakao's 2016 operating profit gains 31 pct

SEOUL -- Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, on Thursday said its operating profit for last year rose 31.1 percent on-year, helped by strong sales of mobile games, music and other content.

Full-year operating profit reached 116.1 billion won (US$101.3 million), the company said in a regulatory filing.

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AmorePacific sinks on sales slump, THAAD woes

SEOUL -- AmorePacific Co., South Korea's top cosmetics maker, traded at a 52-week low on Thursday as investors were disappointed with the domestic sales slump amid growing concerns that the planned deployment of a U.S. missile defense system to South Korea will further batter sales in China, its largest overseas market.

AmorePacific stocks were changing hands at 283,000 won (US$247) on the Seoul bourse as of 9:35 a.m., up 0.53 percent from the previous session's close. On Wednesday, it dipped to an almost two-year low, weighed by foreign and institutional sell-offs.

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Faltering private consumption drags recovery momentum: report

SEJONG -- The recovery momentum for the South Korean economy has remained fragile as an upturn in exports and investment was offset by a drop in private consumption, a government report said Thursday.

"The South Korean economy saw investment improve on the back of recovering exports, but a slump in consumer sentiment and private consumption slowed down the recovery pace," the finance ministry said in its monthly economy assessment report called the "Green Book."

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S. Korea adds 8 pitchers to 'designated pool' for World Baseball Classic

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday added eight players to its "designated pitcher pool" for the upcoming World Baseball Classic (WBC).

The tournament organizers created the pool for this year's edition, allowing teams to select up to 10 pitchers for the pool. They are eligible for one or more consecutive rounds.

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Ex-minister calls for resumption of inter-Korean industrial complex

SEOUL -- A former South Korean unification minister said Thursday the now-shuttered inter-Korean industrial complex needs to be reopened, with the closure of the park entering the first year this week

Seoul's previous administrations had used the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex as the symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation, former Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told a radio program.

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