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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 April 20, 2017

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

S. Korea's first casino resort opens amid China spat

YEONGJONGDO -- South Korea's first casino and hotel complex was unveiled at a grand opening outside of Seoul on Thursday, as the country is struggling to cope with a dearth of Chinese visitors in the wake of a diplomatic row with its neighbor.

Paradise City marked its official opening in Yeongjongdo, west of the capital, as the biggest casino resort in the country, vowing to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors annually from around the world, especially the neighboring China and Southeast Asia.

(2nd LD) Moon sees no merit in calling North Korea main enemy: aides
(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks from a party spokesman, additional details in last 4 paras)

SEOUL -- Presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in refused to publicly call North Korea a main enemy of the state, not because he does not think so but because there is no benefit in it for his country, those close to the candidate said Thursday.

"A person seeking to become the next president, if elected, may be the person who has to personally talk with North Korea to establish peace between the divided Koreas and also work to peacefully reunify the two," a key campaigner for the liberal presidential nominee told Yonhap News Agency.

(LEAD) S. Korea begins process for new airport in southern part of country
(ATTN: CORRECTS number of passengers at current Gimhae Airport in last para)

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday began the process to build a new airport in the southern part of the country to meet growing local demand.

The government has started the bidding process to select a company that will conduct an extended feasibility study and basic planning for the new airport in Gimhae, 450 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation.

Once a preferred bidder is selected, it will carry out feasibility studies and basic designing for the regional airport for 12 months, starting in June, a ministry official said.

Hwang orders military to stand ready for 'immediate response' to N.K. provocation

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Thursday ordered the military to strengthen its readiness posture for an "immediate" response to any North Korean provocation.

His remarks came amid growing concerns that the communist regime could conduct its sixth nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile launch to mark the 85th anniversary of its army's creation next Tuesday.

"I call on the military to keep close tabs on the possibility of North Korea's provocations and strengthen its (readiness) posture for an immediate response," he said during a regular meeting of Cabinet ministers on pending state affairs.

Samsung joins Amazon for HDR tech

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it has joined forces with U.S. retail and entertainment giant Amazon.com Inc. for High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology to deliver quality video content through its televisions.

Under the agreement, the South Korean tech giant plans to provide quality video content through its TVs with Amazon Prime Video, which has clients in some 200 countries.

The HDR technology allows screens to deliver vivid displays by optimizing brightness depending on colors, boasting improved screen quality.

Samsung said the latest agreement centers on promoting what it calls the HDR 10 Plus technology, which is a development from the previous technology standard of HDR 10.

S. Korea's top diplomat to attend UNSC meeting on N.K. issue

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign minister will attend a United Nations Security Council meeting scheduled for next week to discuss North Korea's nuclear threats and efforts to make the North go nuclear-free, a ministry source said Thursday.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will join the UNSC meeting to be held in New York on April 28 that will focus on North Korea's nuclear stalemate and its denuclearization, the source told Yonhap News Agency.

LG Electronics to release G6 in Europe next week

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday it plans to release the G6 smartphone in 24 European countries starting next week, in line with steps to expand its global sales.

Starting next week, South Korea's No. 2 tech giant will start sales of its flagship device in major European countries, including Britain, Germany, France and Italy.

LG Electronics kicked off sales of the G6 in the North American market earlier this month.

The company said it also plans to release the device in major Asian, Latin American and African nations throughout next month.

(LEAD) Tillerson says U.S. reviewing possibility of relisting N.K. as terror sponsor
(ATTN: ADDS background, photo, byline)

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the U.S. is looking into the possibility of adding North Korea back to the list of states sponsors of terrorism as a way to bring pressure on the communist nation.

"We're reviewing all the status of North Korea both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as all the other ways in which we can bring pressure to bear on the regime in Pyongyang to reengage with us on a different footing than the past talks have been held. So yes, we're evaluating all of those options," Tillerson told reporters.


(LEAD) White House seeks to fend off criticism over Carl Vinson's whereabouts
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with White House briefing; CHANGES headline)

WASHINGTON -- The White House sought to fend off criticism Wednesday that President Donald Trump and other top officials have misleadingly said a Navy strike group was heading to the Korean Peninsula to deter North Korea when it was actually moving in the opposite direction.

U.S. officials came under fire following revelations that the group of ships led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson were thousands of miles away from Korea despite earlier statements suggesting they would be in the region to deter the North when tensions soared last weekend.


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