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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:16 June 23, 2017

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

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Moon's rating falls amid political standoff over his disputed personnel choices

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating fell this week amid a political standoff over his disputed personnel choices, but maintained high support close to 80 percent, a survey showed Friday.

In the survey conducted from Tuesday through Thursday by local pollster Gallup Korea, Moon's rating was tallied at 79 percent, down 4 percentage points from a week earlier.

Those who disapproved of his job performance made up 14 percent, up 4 percentage points from the previous week, while 7 percent said they were unsure or refused to answer.

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Scandal-mired ex-leader's friend gets 3-yr jail term for soliciting favors for her daughter

SEOUL -- The friend of former President Park Geun-hye mired in a massive corruption scandal was sentenced to three years in jail on Friday for soliciting academic favors for her daughter, the first ruling handed down for a part of the nation-rocking case that led to Park's ouster.

The Seoul Central District Court found Choi Soon-sil guilty of obstruction of duty by exerting influence at Ewha Womans University to give undue favors for her 21-year-old daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, using her ties with the former president.

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S. Korea to launch scrutiny of comfort women deal with Japan

SEOUL -- The foreign ministry plans to launch a special team to look into the controversial agreement signed with Japan on the neighbor's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, a ministry official said Friday.

The move is in line with President Moon Jae-in's campaign pledge to review the agreement signed in December 2015 to end bilateral feuds with Japan over the imperial Japanese army's enforced mobilization of Korean women at front-line military brothels during World War II.

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Thousands of mourners bid farewell to Warmbier

WASHINGTON/CINCINNATI -- Family members, friends and thousands of mourners bade farewell Thursday to Otto Warmbier, the American college student who died shortly after his release from North Korea in a coma.

The funeral service was held at Warmbier's alma mater Wyoming High School. The front of the funeral program included a quote from Warmbier's 2013 graduation speech: "This is our season finale. This is the end of one great show, but just the beginning to hundreds of new spinoffs."


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U.S. senator introduces legislation for more visas for highly skilled S. Korean workers

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. senator has introduced a bill calling for more nonimmigrat visas to be issued for highly skilled South Korean workers, congressional records showed Thursday.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) submitted the legislation (S.1399) Wednesday, , together with co-sponsors Sen. Mazie Hirono(D-HI) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). The bill is titled, "A bill to provide high-skilled nonimmigrant visas for nationals of the Republic of Korea, and for other purposes.

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(LEAD) Trump will do 'whatever it takes' to defend U.S. from N. Korea: White House

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump will do "whatever it takes to protect America" from North Korean threats if Chinese efforts to rein in the provocative regime don't work, the White House said Thursday.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made the remark during a press gaggle in response to a question about Trump's Twitter posting earlier this week that China tried to help the U.S. with the North, but those efforts didn't work.

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Samsung launches high-end QLED TVs in Brazil

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it has showcased its premium QLED TVs in Brazil in line with its steps to tap deeper into the Latin American market.

The South Korean tech giant first introduced the QLED TV in Mexico earlier in April, which was gradually expanded to other countries such as Panama and Colombia. Brazil takes up around 40 percent of the region's TV market.

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AOA's Choa denies marriage rumor amid departure announcement

SEOUL -- Choa, lead singer of K-pop group AOA, on Friday denied a news report that she was leaving from the band to get married.

Choa announced on her Instagram late Thursday that she was leaving her team, citing long term insomnia and depression as the reasons. A local media also reported that Choa recently made a romantic trip to Japan with a 30-something South Korean businessman.

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Bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduce resolution welcoming Moon

WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a resolution welcoming South Korean President Moon Jae-in's upcoming visit to Washington while reaffimring the importance of the alliance and calling for further expanding all-round cooperation.

A total of 19 senators co-introduced the resolution, including John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Ben Cardin (D-MD), ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Cory Gardner (R-CO), chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and Edward Markey (D-MA), ranking member of the East Asia subcommittee.

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