The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
(LEAD) S. Korean leader says dialogue still key to peace on Korean Peninsula
SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in again urged North Korea to return to the dialogue table Thursday, days after the communist state test launched what it claimed to be a long range missile capable of hitting the mainland U.S.
"Right now, the situation is getting worse to create a momentum for dialogue with North Korea, and we cannot but be concerned of a possible armed conflict as the North continues to raise tension by making nuclear and missile provocations," Moon said in a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, according to Moon's presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae.
(LEAD) S. Korea's military holds precision-strike drills
SEOUL -- In yet another show of force against North Korea, South Korea's Navy and Air Force conducted joint live-fire drills in the East Sea on Thursday, officials said.
The exercise involved the 3,200-ton Yang Manchun destroyer, the 2,500-ton Chungbuk frigate, 13 other warships, the P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft and Lynx multi-role planes, as well as FA-5, F-4E and KF-16 tactical fighter jets.
Chinese Ambassador calls THAAD biggest problem in Seoul-Beijing ties
SEOUL -- China's top envoy in Seoul on Thursday voiced hopes for a "reasonable" solution to the dispute over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, which he called the biggest problem in bilateral relations between Seoul and Beijing.
During a meeting with Choo Mi-ae, the leader of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party, Qiu Guohong also noted that since President Moon Jae-in took office in May, opportunities have emerged for the two countries to normalize and newly develop their ties.
5 N. Koreans want to defect to S. Korea: Seoul
SEOUL -- Five North Koreans who crossed the de facto maritime border on a boat last week have expressed their wishes to defect to South Korea, a government official said Thursday.
The small boat carrying four men and one woman was found near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in waters off the east coast on July 1.
S. Korea spends 59 pct of 2017 budget in H1
SEJONG -- The South Korean government has spent more than half of its planned budget in the first six months of the year as part of its efforts to frontload spending to prop up the economy, the finance ministry said Thursday.
Budget spending by the government and public institutions for the January-June period stood at 166.3 trillion won (US$144.2 billion), up 2.8 trillion won from the earlier target of 163.5 trillion won, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
Financial industry cuts 31,000 jobs this year via voluntary retirement
SEOUL -- The nation's financial industry has cut about 31,000 jobs so far this year via voluntary retirement programs or other measures, data showed Thursday, as the financial sector suffers from slow growth and slim margins.
The decline in financial jobs also came as financial firms shut down their physical branches as customers are increasingly using banking and other financial services on personal computers and smartphones.
P2P lending hits record 1 tln won
SEOUL -- Peer-to-peer lending in South Korea surpassed 1 trillion won (US$870 million) last month, marking a rapid growth as yield-hungry investors funneled more money in the alternative lending scheme, industry data showed Thursday.
According to data compiled by the Korea P2P Financial Association, lending between peers was tallied at 1.16 trillion won at the end of last month.
(3rd LD) Samsung launches refurbished Galaxy Note 7
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday showcased the refurbished edition of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, whose production was suspended last year due to battery issues.
South Korea's three mobile carriers -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. -- said they will kick off sales of the Galaxy Note FE, or Fan Edition, starting Friday.
Samsung Electronics' Q2 operating profit estimated at 13 tln won
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s operating profit for the second quarter is expected to reach a record-high level of 13 trillion won (US$12 billion), market watchers said Thursday.
The South Korean tech giant is set to announce its second-quarter earnings guidance Friday.
BMW, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault Samsung to recall nearly 30,000 vehicles
SEOUL -- BMW, Peugeot-Citroen and Renault Samsung Motors Corp. will recall nearly 30,000 vehicles in South Korea for faulty parts, the transport ministry said Thursday.
This is the latest in a series of recall orders issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport against both domestic and foreign carmakers.
BTS, Leenalchi, Jeongmilla sweep prizes at Korean Music Awards
BTS to appear on Korean TV shows this month
BLACKPINK's Rose to drop solo album next week
(LEAD) 2 patients die after AstraZeneca vaccine shots; study under way over potential connection
J-Hope releases new song 'Blue Side' on 'Hope World' anniversary
(LEAD) S. Korean-born Olympic short track champion applies for Chinese citizenship
Gov't urges people to use encrypted personal number for entry logs to protect privacy
(LEAD) New virus cases above 400 for 2nd day on cluster infections
S. Korean-born Olympic short track champion applies for Chinese citizenship
(4th LD) New virus cases back above 400; resurgence feared amid warm weather