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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 18:00 October 31, 2017

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

As many as 200 N. Koreans killed in tunnel collapse at nuclear test site: report

TOKYO -- A tunnel under construction at North Korea's nuclear test site collapsed and as many as 200 workers could have been killed, a Japanese news report said Tuesday.

About 100 people were trapped inside when the unfinished tunnel at the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site collapsed, and an additional 100 people could have been killed while trying to rescue those trapped as a second collapse occurred, Japan's TV Asahi reported.

The report didn't provide further details, such as when the accident happened.

KHNP to review legality of early closure of Wolsong-1 reactor

SEOUL -- The state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. will check to see if legal problems could arise from closing the Wolsong-1 reactor unit before the end of its life cycle, its chief executive said Tuesday.

KHNP CEO Lee Kwan-seop made the remark during a parliamentary audit as the government is pushing to permanently close the reactor located in Gyeongju, 370 kilometers south of Seoul, as part of its nuclear phase-out plan.

(LEAD Seoul stocks hit fresh record high on Samsung, automakers
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended their gains to a third day to finish at a fresh all-time high Tuesday, as investors scooped up market heavyweights, such as Samsung Electronics and automakers, market analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 21.50 points, or 0.86 percent, to close at 2,523.43.


(LEAD) Court rejects state compensation claim against major shareholder of Sewol ferry operator
(ATTN: ADDS more detail on total amount of compensation claimed; CLARIFIES figures in 2nd last para)

SEOUL -- A Seoul court dismissed a compensation claim Tuesday by the government against a man who was de facto in control of the operator of the Sewol ferry, which sank three years ago leaving more than 300 dead.

The government filed a suit in 2015 seeking some 43 billion won (US$383.4 million) from Yoo Dae-kyun to cover the costs involved in the handling the ferry accident. But the total amount of compensation now exceeds 187 billion won, as the state has filed more claims against Yoo and those involved in the accident, including the captain Lee Joon-seok, who received life imprisonment on conviction of homicide.

Moon calls on N. Korea to participate in Olympics, reaffirms goal of peaceful reunification

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday renewed his call for North Korea to participate in the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, saying it will mark great progress toward peace on the peninsula.

"The doors to PyeongChang, the road to peace, are also open to North Korea," Moon said in his speech to the general assembly of the National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC).

"The one step North Korea takes toward PyeongChang will mark a great progress toward peace that cannot be obtained even with hundreds of missiles."

S. Korea firms step up Pyeongchang promotions as Olympics nears

SEOUL -- South Korean companies are stepping up campaigns to promote their products and brand awareness as the countdown begins in earnest for the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Chip giant Samsung Electronics Co. and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. are leading others by offering customers an opportunity to try their advanced technologies.

Samsung Electronics has recently given visitors the chance to experience the thrill of ski jumping and participate in the Olympic torch relay through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies at its 'Samsung Delight' brand shop in southern Seoul.


S Korean envoy heads to China for talks on N.K. nukes

SEOUL -- South Korea's top nuclear envoy expressed hope Tuesday of having extensive discussions with his Chinese counterpart on ways to peacefully resolve the North Korea nuclear stalemate.

Lee Do-hoon, the special representative for peace and security affairs on the Korean Peninsula, left for Beijing to meet China's Kong Xuanyou later in the day.

"Through the meeting, I have high expectations of having extensive conversations and creating a consensus on ways to peacefully resolve the North's nuclear issue and stably manage the situation," Lee told reporters.

Earlier in the day, the two countries announced they would work to bring their exchanges and cooperation back on track following a prolonged feud over a U.S. missile defense system deployed in South Korea.

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