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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:04 December 28, 2017

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

(2nd LD) Moon says comfort women issue can't be settled by 'defective' 2015 deal

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that the long-simmering issue of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women can't be resolved by a bilateral 2015 accord, calling it a "political" deal with no consensus from victims and citizens.

Moon made the remarks a day after the foreign ministry task force announced the outcome of its five-month review of the deal, finding that the former Park Geun-hye administration kept part of the accord secret apparently to avoid criticism of its concessions to Tokyo.

(LEAD) Gov't to require real-name transactions in cryptocurrency trading

SEOUL -- The government said Thursday it is banning the use of anonymous virtual accounts in cryptocurrency transactions as part of efforts to curb virtual currency speculation.

Hong Nam-ki, minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, made the announcement after a meeting of vice ministers from related ministries, saying the government "can't let this abnormal situation of speculation go on any longer."

(LEAD) Closure of Kaesong complex unilaterally ordered by ex-leader Park: panel

SEOUL -- Ousted former President Park Geun-hye unilaterally ordered the shutdown of an inter-Korean industrial complex last year without proper consultations and legitimate process, a panel report showed Thursday.

The report was unveiled by a nine-member committee of civilian experts that has been reviewing the previous conservative governments' North Korea policies, including Seoul's closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex in February 2016. The panel was launched by Seoul's unification ministry in September.

S. Korea, U.S. to kick off trade deal renegotiation next week

WASHINGTON -- South Korea and the United States will kick off negotiations to amend their bilateral free trade agreement next week, Seoul's trade ministry said Wednesday.

The first round of talks will be held in Washington on Jan. 5 following months of preparation triggered by the Donald Trump administration's request to revise the pact.

FTC officials required to report contacts with outsiders

SEJONG -- Officials at South Korea's corporate watchdog will be required to report their contacts or interactions with former colleagues or other businesspeople starting next year, a move aimed at boosting the transparency and trustworthiness of its policies, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said Thursday.

Under the measures, all FTC officials should submit a written report about their contacts, including online interactions, with ex-FTC officials, lawyers, and industry officials, in order to stem any potential irregularities. The report must be submitted within five days of the contact being made.

U.S., Russian foreign ministers agree on diplomatic solution to N.K. issue

WASHINGTON -- The top diplomats of the United States and Russia have agreed to work together to peacefully resolve the issue of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the State Department said Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached the agreement during a phone call Tuesday, according to the department's spokeswoman, Heather Nauert.

(Yonhap Feature) U.S. troops under pressure to vacate Yongsan base

YONGSAN GARRISON, Seoul -- North Korea is not the only thing that keeps Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), hard at work nowadays.

The Yongsan base relocation is another tough task, probably a source of stress for the commander who often emphasizes the importance of the robust alliance to "fight tonight."

(Yonhap Interview) S. Korean football chief hopes nat'l team can reach 2018 World Cup knockout stage

SEOUL -- This year has been a roller coaster ride for South Korean football and its top administrator Chung Mong-gyu.

Although South Korea secured their ninth consecutive FIFA World Cup appearance, the men's national team went down a bumpy road. There were coaching changes in the middle of the qualification campaign, with some angry fans calling for an overhaul of the Korea Football Association (KFA).

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