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Yonhap News Summary

All News 18:25 December 04, 2017

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

(LEAD) Rival parties reach tentative agreement over next year's budget

SEOUL -- The ruling and opposition parties reached a tentative deal Monday in negotiations over the government's budget for next year, although some of the key sticking points, including creating more public service jobs, are pending the main opposition party's consent after it deferred its decision for another day.

The floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and minor opposition People's Party announced the agreement, two days after the parties missed the legal deadline for budget's passage over key contentious issues in the 429 trillion won (US$395 billion) budget.

(2nd LD) S. Korea, U.S. begin massive air combat drills

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States kicked off a major air force exercise here Monday against North Korea's threats, with two dozen U.S. stealth jets mobilized.

The five-day Vigilant air combat exercise (ACE) comes less than a week after the North fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and declared the completion of its "nuclear force."

S. Korea, France to hold high-level talks to discuss N.K. issues

SEOUL -- Senior diplomats of South Korea and France will meet in Seoul this week to discuss cooperation against North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats, the foreign ministry here said Monday.

Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, will meet with his French counterpart Nicolas de Riviere on Tuesday, according to the ministry.

Ex-aide to Moon appears for questioning over bribery suspicions

SEOUL -- A former senior secretary to President Moon Jae-in flatly rejected bribery suspicions against him Monday as he appeared at a local prosecutors' office for questioning for the second time in less than two weeks.

"This has nothing to do with me and I know nothing about this," Jun Byung-hun, former senior presidential secretary for political affairs, told reporters after arriving at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office for questioning.

Prosecutors to question top aide to ex-President Lee over election-meddling allegations

SEOUL -- Prosecutors will call in a former top aide to former President Lee Myung-bak for questioning on Tuesday over allegations that the military's cyberwarfare command attempted to interfere with the 2012 presidential election, officials said.

Kim Tae-hyo, a Sungkyunkwan University professor who served as a senior secretary to Lee, is suspected of involvement with the cybercommand's operations to write Internet comments to sway public opinion in favor of then ruling party candidate Park Geun-hye.

Aftershocks result in soil movement in Pohang

SEOUL -- A series of aftershocks following last month's earthquake in the southeastern city of Pohang has resulted in soil in the area moving about 28 centimeters laterally, but the movement isn't likely to lead to landslides, government data showed Monday.

A soil movement sensor installed on a hill near the quake's epicenter gave a reading of 363 millimeters following aftershocks measuring magnitudes of 2.0 and 2.4, respectively, on Nov. 21, according to the Korea Forest Service data released by Rep. Hwang Ju-hong of the minor opposition People's Party.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close higher on tech gains

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose Monday as Samsung Electronics and other tech stocks advanced, marking the first gain after three successive losses. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 26.26 points, or 1.06 percent, to close at 2,501.67. Trade volume was moderate at 320 million shares worth 5.93 trillion won (US$5.45 billion).

Zion.T honored by duet with Lee Moon-sae in 'Snow'

SEOUL -- Singer-songwriter Zion.T said Monday he was honored by industry veteran Lee Moon-sae signing off on a duet with him, praising him as a pioneer who defined the sentiment of modern Korean pop music.

"He's a senior artist that I dearly love and admire, so I dared myself to ask him. I told him I heard hallucinations of his voice and mine overlapping," Zion.T told reporters during a media showcase for his new single, "Snow," at CGV Cheongdam theater in southern Seoul.


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