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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:14 February 09, 2017

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

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S. Korea revises long-term defense reform plan

SEOUL -- South Korea's military has revised its long-term defense reform plan to better cope with North Korean threats, including the creation of special units tasked to neutralize its leadership and key facilities in case of contingencies, officials said Thursday.

"We have made the revision in a bid to secure the most urgent defense capabilities against North Korean threats over the next five years (through 2021)," a high-ranking ministry official told reporters in a background briefing.

"Under the changes, we will strengthen combat capabilities in both limited conflict and full-scale war."

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(LEAD) Hyundai Heavy returns to black in 2016 on reduced costs
(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 5 paras)

SEOUL -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., a major South Korean shipbuilder, reported Thursday that it swung to the black last year from a year earlier, thanks in part to reduced costs and improvement in its non-shipbuilding business.

Net income came to 682 billion won (US$595 million) last year on a consolidation basis, a turnaround from a loss of 1.36 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Sales dropped 15 percent on-year to reach 39.32 trillion won, while it logged an operating profit of 1.64 trillion won, a rebound from an operating loss of 1.54 trillion won tallied in the same period the year before.

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(LEAD) KB Financial net soars 26.2 pct in 2016
(ATTN: ADDS KB official's comments, subsidiaries' earnings in last 4 paras)

SEOUL -- KB Financial Group said Thursday its net profit jumped 26.2 percent last year to exceed 2 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) largely on improved profitability.

The South Korean banking giant posted 2.14 trillion won in full-year net profit, up 26.2 percent from a year earlier. It marks the first time in five years for the group's net profit to top 2 trillion won.

KB cited increased interest income and a decrease in general costs and loan-loss reserves for the rise. Interest profit grew 3.2 percent on-year to 6.42 trillion won in 2016, with commission profit adding 3.3 percent to 1.58 trillion won.

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S. Korea reserved on resumption of inter-Korean complex operation

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign ministry said Thursday that reopening the inter-Korean industrial complex does not conform to the international community's approach to handling North Korea's nuclear threat, and such a step could trigger debate about breaking U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Some politicians, including leading presidential candidates, have cautiously raised the possibility of resuming operations at the industrial park in the North's border city of Kaesong. These people argued that the move could help induce a reconciliatory mood with Pyongyang.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks edge up on foreign buying
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL-- South Korean stocks rose slightly Thursday as foreign investors snapped a two-day selling streak. The Korean won gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.8 point, or 0.04 percent, to close at 2,065.88. Trade volume was moderate at 231 million shares worth 4.15 trillion won (US$3.62 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 452 to 345.

The main stock index swung between gains and losses with investors remaining cautious about political worries in the United States and Europe.

Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities, said investors have kept a close eye on trade protectionism and anti-immigration measures by U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Gov't seeks emergency vaccine supply for FMD after confirming different type of virus

SEJONG -- Quarantine authorities sought an emergency supply from Britain of a vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) Thursday after tests showed the latest outbreak of the disease is from a virus different from prior cases.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the virus confirmed from cattle at a farm in Yeoncheon, 62 kilometers north of Seoul, was confirmed to be type A. Two previous cases discovered in the southern provinces of the country were of type O. Seven different kinds of viruses are known to cause FMD. The only time that the type A virus was found during eight previous outbreaks since 2000 in South Korea was in 2010.

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Top court summons ex-health minister over controversial Samsung merger

SEOUL -- A former health minister arrested over a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye was summoned to her impeachment trial Thursday to testify on a controversial merger between two Samsung affiliates.

Moon Hyung-pyo, who served as minister from 2013 to 2015, was brought to the 12th hearing at the Constitutional Court to face questioning on allegations the conglomerate bribed Park in exchange for the government's backing of the 2015 merger between Samsung C&T Corp. and Cheil Industries Inc.

Moon is under arrest on charges of pressuring the National Pension Service, a key shareholder of Samsung C&T Corp., to agree to the merger. In return, Samsung is suspected of offering large "donations

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