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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:59 June 22, 2017

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

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(LEAD) Rate hike likely to increase vulnerable households' debt repayment burden: BOK

SEOUL -- An interest rate hike in South Korea could increase debt repayment burdens of vulnerable households as borrowing rose to record levels in the first quarter, the central bank said Thursday.

South Korea's household debt came to 1,359.7 trillion won (US$1.2 trillion) as of end-March, a dramatic increase from 665 trillion won at the end of 2007, the Bank of Korea said in a report submitted to the parliament.

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(LEAD) Gov't to push to expand discount rate of mobile fees

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's policy advisory committee announced Thursday that it will encourage local mobile operators to expand the discount rate of mobile phone fees and offer an additional benefit to low-income customers, as part of efforts to reduce the cost burden for mobile phone users.

During the presidential campaign, President Moon has vowed to reduce household communications expenses through the abolition of the 11,000 won (U$S9.63) basic monthly subscription fee.

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Nearly 80 pct of S. Koreans support resumption of inter-Korean dialogue: poll

SEOUL -- Nearly 80 percent of South Koreans support a resumption of long-suspended inter-Korean dialogue, a survey by a presidential advisory panel showed Thursday, indicating strong backing for the policy line of new President Moon Jae-in.

In the survey by the National Unification Advisory Council, 76.9 percent of respondents said South Korea should restore dialogue channels with North Korea as part of efforts to play a leading role in the resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem. Of the rest, 22 percent said they disagree.

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(LEAD) Air Seoul to focus on Asian routes for growth

INCHEON, South Korea -- Air Seoul Inc., a South Korean budget carrier, said Thursday it will focus its business on foreign destinations and has no plan to fly on domestic routes.

The move is part of parent company Asiana Airlines Inc.'s broader strategy to have the budget carrier absorb customers who prefer to travel economically on short-haul flights within Asia. Asiana aims to focus more on profitable medium to long routes.

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Cheong Wa Dae to remove curfew on late night traffic around presidential office

SEOUL -- Starting next week, anyone, including foreign tourists, will be able to drive or walk near South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae at all hours, the office announced Thursday.

Currently, the only road leading to Cheong Wa Dae is closed off to public access from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. every day.

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(Yonhap Interview) BLACKPINK straddles between spunk, femininity in new song

SEOUL -- BLACKPINK made one of the biggest K-pop debuts last year, storming multiple music charts back to back with its edgy hip-hop tracks "Whistle" and "Boombayah"

But the group's four young ladies, known mostly for their spunky and girl-crush aesthetics, said Thursday they are now trying on a look and feel that is more in line with other contemporary girl groups through their comeback song "As If It's Your Last."
(END)

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