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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:00 January 02, 2018

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

Online shopping purchases continue to rise in Nov.

SEJONG -- Purchases made through Internet and mobile devices in South Korea continued to rise in November as use of smartphones have fully caught on with local consumers, government data showed Tuesday.

Transactions made with smartphones and tablets reached 7.55 trillion won (US$7.06 billion) in the one-month period, up a solid 21.7 percent from a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Korea.

(LEAD) Moon urges swift steps to realize N. Korean participation at PyeongChang

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in called for swift measures to realize North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games here on Tuesday, one day after the reclusive North Korean leader hinted at a resumption of inter-Korean dialogue to the end.

"I hope the Unification Ministry and the Ministry of Culture and Sports will swiftly come up with follow-up measures to quickly restore South-North Korean dialogue and realize the North Korean delegation's participation in the PyeongChang Olympics," the president said in a Cabinet meeting held at his office Cheong Wa Dae.

S. Korea 'carefully' mulling timing of offering talks with N.K.

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry said Tuesday it is "carefully" considering the timing of proposing talks with North Korea as the North's leader expressed his willingness to send a delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Monday that his country is open to dialogue with Seoul over its intent to take part in the Winter Games to be held in South Korea next month.

Gov't expected to begin banning anonymous cryptocurrency trade from around Jan. 20

SEOUL -- The South Korean government has been developing a system that is likely to start banning the use of anonymous accounts in cryptocurrency transactions from around Jan. 20, financial industry sources said Tuesday.

The system is a part of follow-up measures after the government announced last week a set of fresh measures to curb transactions of cryptocurrencies, including a possible closure of cryptocurrency exchanges if necessary, amid growing fears that a bubble over exchanges may be set to burst.

Ministry to build memorial for colonial-era 'provisional government'

SEOUL -- South Korea's veterans ministry announced a plan Tuesday to build a memorial for the nation's "provisional government," which was based in China during Japan's colonial rule of Korea.

The five-story, state-funded edifice will be constructed on a 5,695-square-meter site near the Seodaemun Independence Park in Seoul by August 2020, according to the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs.

Hyundai, Kia set conservative 2018 sales target after THAAD row

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales, said Tuesday they are targeting to sell a combined 7.55 million vehicles this year as slowing global economic growth weighs on demand in major markets.

Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. have set an annual sales target for this year, after missing their combined sales goal of 8.25 million cars last year, the group said in a statement.

S. Korea's working population shrinking faster than in other countries

SEOUL -- South Korea's working-age population is shrinking much faster than in other countries after hitting its peak in 2016, a report said Tuesday.

According to the Health and Welfare Forum published by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA), only the under-40 population was projected to drop among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) over the 2017-2037 period. The pace of the drop for other age groups was estimated at less than 4 percent.

U.S. cautious in commenting on N.K. leader's New Year's Day speech

SEOUL -- The United States has not said much about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year's Day address, in which he gave a nuclear warning against it but also a conciliatory gesture toward South Korea, a U.S. broadcaster reported Tuesday.

In the address, Kim warned, "The United States should properly know that the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike, and a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office, and this is just a reality, not a threat."

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