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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:40 January 04, 2018

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

Koreas make contact via resumed hotline for talks

SEOUL -- South and North Korea made contact via the restored cross-border hotline Thursday as they are seeking to hold talks to discuss Pyongyang's potential participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

A North Korean liaison official made a call to his South Korean counterpart at the shared border village of Panmunjom at 9:30 a.m., according to Seoul's unification ministry.

FM reaffirms inter-Korean dialogue won't go separately from denuclearization efforts

SEOUL -- South Korea's top diplomat said Thursday that the country will maintain close coordination with the United States in seeking dialogue with North Korea, and reaffirmed that inter-Korean talks will not go separately from the allies' joint denuclearization efforts.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha made the remark during her meeting with Marc Knapper, acting U.S. ambassador to South Korea, and Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).

Ousted leader to be slapped with additional bribery charge: prosecution

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors said Thursday they will formally bring an additional bribery charge against former President Park Geun-hye for allegedly accepting billions of won from the state spy agency during her term.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office plans to file the indictment in the afternoon, it said in a release. The office announced the previous day it is planning to formally lay the charge within this week.

Opposition leader voices concerns over allies' gaps over N.K. approach

SEOUL -- The leader of the minor opposition Bareun Party on Thursday expressed concerns over a possible rift between South Korea and the United States over how to handle North Korea's nuclear threat, amid the growing prospect of cross-border dialogue.

Yoo Seong-min pointed to Washington's tough stance on a belligerent Pyongyang, which is in contrast to Seoul's push for inter-Korean dialogue following North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year's Day speech marked by a surprise olive branch to the South.

S. Korea beefs up quarantine measures against bird flu

SEJONG -- South Korea's agriculture ministry said Thursday that quarantine measures will be intensified against bird flu as the latest outbreak in Gyeonggi Province has raised concerns with little over a month left before the start of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs heightened its alert level of avian influenza (AI) after a H5N6 strain was confirmed at a layer chicken farm in Pocheon, 46 kilometers north of Seoul, earlier in the day.

S. Korean military: No signs of N. Korea's imminent missile launch

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense authorities said Thursday there has been no indication of an imminent missile test by North Korea, responding to U.S. news reports that the secretive nation appears to be preparing to fire another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

"There is no activity that would lead to an assessment that a missile provocation by North Korea is imminent," Army Col. Roh Jae-cheon, spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a press briefing.

Samsung to mass produce Exynos 9 with enhanced multi-tasking, AI

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it will mass produce a mobile application processor (AP) with enhanced features for multi-tasking as well as artificial-intelligence platforms, which can potentially be used on the presumed Galaxy S9 smartphone.

South Korea's No. 1 chipmaker said the Exynos 9 (9810) is based on second-generation 10-nanometer FinFET technology, and is optimized for premium smart devices as it boasts the industry's most advanced long-term evolution (LTE) network modem.

Samsung, LG concerned about Washington's move to slap tariffs on washers

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- South Korean tech giants on Wednesday (U.S. time) expressed concerns over Washington's plan to impose stronger tariffs on washers, claiming the move will have adverse impacts on their hiring of U.S. workers.

The remarks came during a hearing hosted by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Following a safeguard petition filed by U.S.-based Whirlpool, the trade watchdog earlier recommended a 50 percent tariff rate on large residential washers built by Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. exceeding a quota of 1.2 million units.

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