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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:16 April 11, 2017

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

N.K. holds key parliamentary meeting amid high cross-border tensions

SEOUL -- North Korea convened a key parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, South Korean officials said, amid heightened tensions over its possible nuclear and missile provocations.

The 13th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) held its one-day plenary session for the first time since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was elected head of a new state body last year.

China's envoy says Beijing will 'actively' work for talks between U.S., N.K.

SEOUL -- China's top nuclear envoy said Tuesday that he will work hard to bring the United States and North Korea to the negotiating table for direct talks aimed at resolving the North's nuclear stalemate.

Wu Dawei made the remarks in a meeting with Rep. Sim Sang-jung of the minor progressive Justice Party. During the 40-minute-long meeting, the two discussed North Korea's nuclear program and other issues of mutual concerns, according to Sim, who shared what was discussed in a press briefing.

N. Korean army vows loyalty to top leader to mark birthday of late founder

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- The North Korean army has held a ceremony to pledge its loyalty to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ahead of this week's 105th birthday of late state founder Kim Il-sung, one of the North's key anniversaries, state media reported Tuesday.

According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency, soldiers of the army, navy, air and anti-air force of the Korean People's Army (KPA) paid high tribute to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il -- the current leader's grandfather and father -- at the ceremony on Monday at the plaza of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, where the preserved bodies of the two late leaders are placed.

Financial markets stable despite geopolitical worries: regulator

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial regulator said Tuesday geopolitical concerns won't impact financial market stability, while warning that it will sternly deal with spreading unfounded rumors.

Jin Woong-sup, chairman of the Financial Supervisory Service, held an emergency meeting earlier in the day as the nation's stocks and currency lost ground over uncertainties centered on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

USFK commander to skip hearings in DC amid tensions in Korea

SEOUL -- Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the top commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), has decided to skip upcoming congressional hearings in Washington D.C. to stay focused on his duty here amid increased tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, the USFK announced Tuesday.

He was supposed to attend the Armed Service Committee hearings to be held later this month for testimony, a routine activity for the leader of 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea.

Preorders for Galaxy S8 top 600,000 units in S. Korea

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday that preorders for its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, has surpassed a whopping 600,000 units in just five days, heralding a big hit for the company.

The Galaxy S8 smartphones feature high resolution displays that bend on both ends, and come with various innovative technologies such as iris and face recognition scanners and a smart voice assistance program dubbed Bixby.

S. Korean economy performs better-than-expected in Q1: finance minister

SEJONG -- The South Korean economy is projected to have recovered at a faster-than-expected pace in the first three months of the year on the back of an upturn in exports and production, the finance minister said Tuesday.

"As exports, production and investment have been rebounding, the recovery pace of the economy is faster than expected in the first quarter," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said while visiting a plant of SK hynix, the country's No. 2 chipmaker, in the southeastern outskirts of Seoul. "The semiconductor sector has spearheaded the upside mode in exports and investment."

U.S. to consider S. Korean seas as site for regional disaster relief drill

SEOUL -- The United States Navy will consider South Korean seas as a place to host Pacific Partnership, a U.S.-led annual regional exercise for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, if invited by the South Korean government, the commander of the mission said Tuesday.

Mobilizing expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River, this year's Pacific Partnership made its first stop in Sri Lanka and is currently taking place in Malaysia, with the participation of more than 200 military and civilian personnel from the U.S, Australia, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. Vietnam will be the next stop for the annual exercise.

China's Wu urges halt to THAAD deployment, but finds no resonance

SEOUL -- China's chief negotiator on North Korea's nuclear program called on South Korea Tuesday to halt the ongoing deployment of a U.S. missile defense system during his meetings with Seoul politicians.

In response, they united in urging Beijing to stop economic retaliation despite their differing positions on the missile shield.

Park to be questioned at detention center Wednesday

SEOUL -- Ousted President Park Geun-hye will go through another round of questioning this week, prosecutors said Tuesday, as they prepare to wrap up the probe into a corruption scandal that brought her down.

Prosecutors will visit a detention center south of Seoul, where Park is incarcerated, on Wednesday morning for a fifth interrogation of the former president, they said.

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