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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:13 April 07, 2017

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

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(LEAD) N.K. highlights friendly ties with Syria amid chemical weapon attack row

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a congratulatory message to Syria over the founding anniversary of the country's ruling party, Pyongyang's media said Friday, amid global condemnation against Damascus's suspected chemical weapon attack on civilians.

The North's leader sent the message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the controlling Ba'ath party, according to Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main newspaper.

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(LEAD) Democratic Party to look into People's Party's alleged primary irregularities

SEOUL -- The liberal Democratic Party will form an in-house panel to look into the allegations of irregularities during its splinter People's Party's recent presidential primaries, its chief said Friday.

The move came as the largest party is striving to stop the rise of Ahn Cheol-soo, the splinter party's standard-bearer for the May 9 election, who observers said poses a formidable challenge to its candidate Moon Jae-in.

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S. Korea sees EU's sanctions on Pyongyang as 'resolute' warning message

SEOUL -- South Korea sees the latest European Union's unilateral sanctions against North Korea as a "resolute" warning message in response to Pyongyang's repeated provocations, the foreign ministry said Friday.

On Thursday, the EU unveiled a set of sanctions against the North focusing on restricting investments not just in nuclear and ballistic missile technologies but also in other sectors, such as the conventional arms-related industry, metallurgy and metalworking, and aerospace.

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S. Korea to put off military post reshuffling till after presidential election

SEOUL -- The South Korean military said Friday it will postpone the regular reshuffling of its top commanders until after the country's presidential elections slated for May 9.

The military usually carries out a shake-up of generals leading divisions or corps in April, but it will refrain from doing so this year, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

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(2nd LD) LG Electronics estimates Q1 operating profit at 922 bln won

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. said Friday its first-quarter operating profit is estimated at 922 billion won (US$812.3 million), a market forecast-beating figure, apparently helped by robust sales of premium electronics coupled with reduced losses from the smartphone business.

The latest figure marks an 82.4 percent jump from 505.1 billion won posted in the January-March period of 2016, South Korea's No. 2 tech giant said in a regulatory filing.

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(4th LD) Samsung Electronics' Q1 operating profit estimated at 9.9 tln won

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. predicted Friday that its first-quarter operating profit for this year advanced 48.2 percent on-year, apparently helped by the robust performance of its chip business.

Operating profit is estimated at 9.9 trillion won (US$8.76 billion) in the January-March period, compared with 6.68 trillion won posted a year earlier, the South Korean tech giant said in its regulatory filing.

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S. Korea one win away from women's hockey world championship

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Thanks to a winning combination of opportunistic offense and strong goaltending, South Korea sits one win away from claiming its first women's hockey world title in four years.

Having won its first four games, South Korea is leading the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women's World Championship Division II Group A here in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, some 230 kilometers east of Seoul.

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S. Korea's exports expected to rise for 6th month in April

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports are expected to rise for the sixth straight month in April, according to the trade ministry Friday, as shipments of semiconductors, steel and ships are likely to show double-digit growth this month.

The upbeat forecast was presented at a meeting of officials at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy, and representatives from 11 industry organizations earlier in the day.

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Netflix inks deal to have exclusive overseas broadcasting rights for 'MAN x MAN'

SEOUL -- Netflix has signed a deal with South Korean cable channel JTBC to have exclusive rights to air the network's new drama overseas, the company said Friday.

The new drama "MAN x MAN" will be aired on the global video streaming site, starting April 21, in some 190 countries at the same time it airs in its home market.

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Naver seeks to improve search engine via AI tech

SEOUL -- South Korea's top portal operator Naver Corp. said Friday it plans to continuously improve the service of its search engine by adopting more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which can provide users with customized content.

"The AI technology, which recently received a lot of spotlight, is quickly integrating with existing search-engine services," said Kim Kwang-hyun, who oversees Naver's search engine.
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