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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:48 April 05, 2017

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

(6th LD) N. Korea fires ballistic missile into eastern waters
By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea launched a ballistic missile Wednesday into the East Sea, South Korea's military said, just two days ahead of summit talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

"North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the East Sea from a site in the vicinity of Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province, at around 6:42 a.m.," the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. "The flight distance is about 60 kilometers."

The projectile is estimated to be "a type of KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile," also known as Pukguksong-2, and the maximum altitude of its flight was 189 km, a senior JCS official later told reporters.

U.S. Pacific Command identifies N.K. projectile as KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile

WASHINGTON, April 4 (Yonhap) -- The ballistic missile North Korea recently fired is believed to be "a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile," the U.S. military said Tuesday.

"The U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch" at 6:42 Korea time, Cdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the command, said in a statement. "The launch of a single ballistic missile occurred at a land-based facility near Sinpo."

The missile was tracked until it landed in the East Sea at 6:51 a.m., he said.

S. Korea warns N.K.'s continued provocations will quicken 'self-destruction'

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea condemned North Korea for its continued missile provocations on Wednesday, warning it would lead to toughened sanctions and eventually accelerate the "self-destruction" of the regime.

The North fired off a ballistic missile earlier in the day into the East Sea from a site in the vicinity of Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province. This marked its fourth missile test using ballistic technology this year.

"Our government strongly condemns this (latest missile test) in that it is an outright challenge to a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions and an act that poses a threat to peace and security not just on the Korean Peninsula but also to the whole world," the foreign ministry said.

N.K. likely to name new spy chief at upcoming parliamentary meeting: expert

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is expected to fill the vacancy left by the dismissal of Kim Won-hong as its spy chief earlier this year during the upcoming parliamentary meeting, an expert said Wednesday.

Jo Yong-won, a senior official in the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), is highly likely to become the minister of state security at the meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) slated for April 11, according to Cheong Seong-chang, a senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute.

(LEAD) U.S. senators urge Trump to use summit with Xi to end Beijing's retaliation against S. Korea over THAAD

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Tuesday urged President Donald Trump to use his upcoming summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to bring an end to "unwarranted and unfair" retaliatory measures Beijing has taken against South Korea for hosting the U.S. THAAD missile defense system.

A total of 26 senators, led by Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), made the appeal in a joint letter to Trump just two days before he is set to host China's Xi for high-stakes talks expected to cover all-important security and economic issues, including the North's nuclear and missile threats.

S. Korea's welfare improves, but happiness does not: study

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's state of welfare has improved somewhat over the past five years, but the level of happiness felt by the people has fallen, research said Wednesday.

Such results are the conclusions of a study by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA), which derives the "KIHASA-Chosun Welfare Index" examining the level of well-being in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development including South Korea. The latest research measured 34 nations in five areas -- economic vitality, fiscal sustainability, welfare needs, welfare fulfillment and national happiness -- using 23 indicators.

Chinese smartphone market to heat up with Galaxy S8 release

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. and Chinese smarthphone maker Huawei Technologies Co. are engaging in a fierce competition in the Chinese high-end smartphone sector, industry sources said Wednesday, as Samsung Electronics Co. is set to start sales of its new flagship soon there.

Huawei kicked off sales of its flagship smartphone, the P10, in China on Saturday. The P10 is the successor to the mega-hit P9, whose sales reached a whopping 10 million units last year.

S. Korea's current account surplus increases to US$8.4 bln in Feb

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's current account surplus rose in February from a year earlier due to an increased surplus in the goods account, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The country's current account surplus reached US$8.4 billion in February, compared with a surplus of $7.62 billion a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The figure represents a surplus for 60 months in a row. The current account is the biggest measure of cross-border trade.

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