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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:00 December 12, 2017

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

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(2nd LD) Gov't drops indemnity suit against residents over Jeju naval base

SEOUL -- The South Korean government decided Tuesday to quit a lawsuit against residents on Jeju Island and activists for having obstructed the construction of a major naval base there.

The government approved a related motion at the Cabinet meeting, effectively putting an end to a longtime conflict with the protesters and the local community.

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(LEAD) Justice ministry submits motion seeking parliamentary consent to arrest opposition lawmaker

SEOUL -- The Ministry of Justice on Tuesday submitted a motion seeking parliamentary consent to arrest an opposition lawmaker close to ousted former President Park Geun-hye on suspicions he took illicit money from the state intelligence agency.

The motion came after prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan on charges of taking 100 million won (US$91,570) from the National Intelligence Service's special activities fund in 2014, when he was concurrently serving as deputy prime minister and finance minister.

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Allies discuss timing of joint drills amid PyeongChang concern

SEOUL -- The U.S. military confirmed Tuesday that it is in consultations with South Korea over the concern that their annual exercise may antagonize North Korea before or during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

"The ROK-U.S. alliance continues to discuss the way ahead on the exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, to include the appropriate timing," Cdr. Dave Benham, spokesman for the Pacific Command (PACOM), said in response to Yonhap News Agency's query. ROK stands for the Republic of Korea.

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Opposition leader to visit Japan for talks on N.K. nukes, bilateral ties

SEOUL -- The leader of South Korea's main opposition Liberty Korea Party will embark on a three-day trip to Japan this week for talks with key Tokyo politicians on North Korea threats and bilateral relations, his aide said Tuesday.

Hong Joon-pyo will depart for Japan on Wednesday amid growing security concerns in both countries sparked by North Korea's persistent provocations, including the Nov. 29 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

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Foreign minister pushes to visit Japan this year: spokesman

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign ministry confirmed Tuesday that top diplomat Kang Kyung-wha is pushing to visit Japan by the end of year, adding that relevant discussions are under way between the two countries.

"Detailed schedules are being arranged with Japan," Noh Kyu-duk, foreign ministry spokesman, told a regular briefing. "It would take place within this year."

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end lower on foreign selling

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended lower Tuesday as foreigners continued to offload local stocks on profit-taking. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 10.49 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 2,461.00. Trade volume was moderate at 276.73 million shares worth 5.068 trillion won (US$4.6 billion).

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(LEAD) Ex-Moon aide rejects bribery allegations as 'misunderstanding'

SEOUL -- A former senior secretary to President Moon Jae-in rejected bribery allegations against him as a "misunderstanding" Tuesday as he appeared for arraignment ahead of a court's decision on whether to approve an arrest warrant for him.

"I will come out of this after sufficiently addressing the misunderstanding," Jun Byung-hun, a former senior political secretary, told reporters before heading into the arraignment at the Seoul Central District Court. "I will do my best to resolve the misunderstanding about me."

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