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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:49 December 28, 2017

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

(2nd LD) 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 or a 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.

(LEAD) 'Exclusive' contracts between business partners to be banned: FTC

SEJONG -- South Korea unveiled a series of measures Thursday aimed at promoting "fair" transactions between large firms and smaller business partners, the centerpiece of which is preventing "exclusive" contracts.

Under the measures, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), the country's corporate watchdog, said the government will step up efforts to raise transparency in transactions between large players and smaller ones. In such dealings, bigger companies have used their dominant market positions to excessively engage in unfair business practices.

S. Korea to draw up follow-up measures on comfort women issue 'as soon as possible'

SEOUL -- South Korea will draw up follow-up measures on a bilateral deal reached with Japan to address long running friction over its wartime sexual slavery of Korean women "as soon as possible," the foreign ministry said Thursday.

This came a day after the ministry's task force announced the outcome of its five-month review on the so-called 2015 comfort women deal, saying that there was sensitive part kept in secret apparently and called it an accord that lacked a victim-oriented approach.

S. Korea starts 2-day Dokdo defense exercise

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday began a two-day military exercise for the defense of Dokdo, a set of rocky islets in the East Sea to which Japan lays territorial claim.

"The Navy will conduct the regular Dokdo defense exercise aimed at preventing the infiltration of external forces into the South Korean territory, in conjunction with a flotilla-level field exercise by the Navy's First Fleet (based in the East Sea)," according to the Navy.

S. Korean public sector debt growth slows in 2016

SEJONG -- South Korea's public sector debt growth slowed down in 2016, and its share in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) also fell slightly, the government said Thursday.

The country's public sector debt, known as D3, which includes the debt of the central government and state-funded firms, reached 1,036.6 trillion won (US$965 billion) as of end-2016, up 33 trillion won, or 3.3 percent from the previous year's 1,003.5 trillion won, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

S. Korean venture firms' average revenue estimated at 6.8 bln won

SEOUL -– The average annual revenue posted by South Korean venture firms is estimated at 6.85 billion won (US$6.38 million) for 2016, governmental data showed Thursday.

According to the data compiled by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the Korea Venture Business Association, the average revenue of local venture firms advanced 7.9 percent on-year in 2016.

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