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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:40 December 29, 2017

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea seizes HK vessel over ship-to-ship oil transfer to N. Korea

SEOUL -- A Hong Kong-flagged vessel has been seized and inspected by South Korean authorities after secretly transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in international waters in a ship-to-ship transfer prohibited by the United Nations Security Council, government officials said Friday.

South Korean customs authorities took and searched the vessel, Lighthouse Winmore, when it entered the country's Yeosu Port on Nov. 24 after transferring 600 tons of refined petroleum to a North Korean vessel on Oct. 19, the officials said.

Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. reassure peaceful resolution of N. Korean nuke issue

SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States held a telephone conversation Friday to mark the end of the year and committed continued close cooperation in 2018 for a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of North Korea's nuclear issue, the foreign ministry said.

In the 20-minute conversation, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed that their countries' collaboration and alliance grows stronger than ever as they strive to deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Finance minister vows to maintain decent economic growth in 2018

SEJONG -- South Korea's chief economic policymaker said Friday that the government will do its utmost to maintain decent growth for the country in the new year.

"The new year will mark the first time (for the economy) to achieve a (per capita GDP) US$30,000 level," Finance Minister Kimg Dong-yeon said in his message for 2018. "(The government) will redouble efforts to help the economy maintain its solid expansion."

(LEAD) Businessmen call for probe into shutdown of factory park in N. Korea

SEOUL -- A private task force on Friday pressed the government to launch a probe into the shutdown of an inter-Korean joint factory park in North Korea.

South Korea pulled the plug on the factory park in the North's border city of Kaesong in February 2016 to punish the North for its fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

Defense chief vows reform-based support for inter-Korean dialogue

SEOUL -- South Korea's Defense Minister Song Yong-moo said Friday his troops should turn 2018 into the starting year for full-scale reform to support efforts for bringing lasting peace to the peninsula.

The top priority is to deter North Korea's provocations, Song said in his new year message issued on the eve of the holiday season.

KBS to resume entertainment shows as some workers halt strike

SEOUL -- Public broadcaster KBS will resume broadcasting entertainment programs starting this weekend as some unionized workers decided to halt their monthslong strike and return to work, the network said Friday.

Starting with the popular variety show "2 Days & 1 Night" on Saturday, most shows will be normalized within the second week of January, a person familiar with the matter told Yonhap News Agency.

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