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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:56 April 19, 2017

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

Presidential candidates to square off in 2nd TV debate

SEOUL -- The top five presidential nominees will square off in their second televised debate Wednesday night as the competition is shaping up to be a two-way race between two liberal candidates, Moon Jae-in and Ahn Cheol-soo.

Hosted by the Korea Broadcasting System, the two-hour debate will feature Moon of the liberal Democratic Party, Ahn of the center-left People's Party, Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, Yoo Seong-min of the splinter conservative Bareun Party and Sim Sang-jeung of the far-left Justice Party.

(LEAD) Samsung downplays Galaxy S8's 'red-tinted' display

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday the controversial red-tinted display on some of its brand-new Galaxy S8 smartphone cannot be considered a defect, while some critics are predicting the issue may hurt the company's image like last year's battery scandal.

The issue came to light when a few users claimed the flagship device's display had an unnatural reddish tint. The complaint posted on online portals and communities went viral in South Korea.

U.S. aircraft carrier expected to reach Korean waters in late April: source

SEOUL -- A U.S. Navy strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson has finally started moving toward the Korean Peninsula after finishing joint exercises off Australia, a South Korean military source said Wednesday.

The U.S. Pacific Command said in early April the Carl Vinson fleet, which was scheduled to participate in the exercises with Australia redirected to waters off Korea amid growing tensions over North Korea's new provocations.

S. Korea urges N.K. not to intervene in presidential election

SEOUL -- Seoul on Wednesday urged Pyongyang to stop intervening in South Korea's upcoming presidential election, accusing the North of seeking to drive a wedge among the voters in the South.

The Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main newspaper, said in its recent commentary that the conservative bloc in South Korea should not be allowed to take power again, displaying its intent to intervene in the May 9 presidential election.

(LEAD) Kia in final stage of talks to build plant in India: official

SEOUL -- Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-biggest carmaker by sales, is in the final stage of talks with India over the building of its first plant in the fast-growing automobile market, a company official said Wednesday.

"We have searched for the right site for the Indian plant for the past two years. The talks (with a regional authority in India) are in the final stages," a Hyundai Motor Group official told Yonhap News Agency by telephone.

260,000 Galaxy S8 smartphones' accounts opened on first day: Samsung

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday around 260,000 units of Galaxy S8 smartphones were registered with the country's three mobile carriers on the first day of its preliminary release.

Local consumers who purchased the Galaxy S8 smartphones through preorders started receiving the devices Tuesday, ahead of the official launch in South Korea and the United States slated for Friday.

South Korean-Japanese co-production invited to Cannes' noncompetition section

SEOUL -- A South Korean-Japanese co-produced film got selected in a noncompetition category of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the film's Korean production said Wednesday.

South Korea's leading media and content company CJ E&M said it has produced "Blade of the Immortal" jointly with Warner Bros. Japan.

S. Korea to launch nationwide shopping festival in fall

SEJONG -- South Korea will hold this year's nationwide shopping festival involving retailers and traditional markets in the fall to attract foreign shoppers and boost lackluster domestic consumption, the government said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the "Korea Sale FESTA," will take place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 31, overlapping with the week-long Korean Thanksgiving holiday which falls on Oct. 4. The plan was endorsed by a ministerial meeting chaired by Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho.

Military force is new component of Trump's N.K. policy: congressman

WASHINGTON -- A main difference between President Donald Trump's North Korea policy and that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, is the potential for using military force, a U.S. congressman said Tuesday.

The Trump administration has reportedly finalized its North Korea strategy with a focus on "maximum pressure and engagement" toward denuclearization of the communist nation.

(LEAD) Trump says it makes no sense to start trade war with China when Beijing trying to help with N.K.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday it makes no sense to start a trade war with China when Beijing is trying to help the U.S. with North Korea, rejecting criticism that he's softened his stance on the country.

"I haven't changed my stance. China's trying to help us. I don't know if they are going to be able to or not, but do I want to start heavy, heavy trade or currency manipulation statements against somebody who's out there trying to stop what could be a very bad situation?" Trump said in an interview with Fox News.

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