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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:30 February 26, 2018

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

(2nd LD) U.S. 'will see' if N.K. willingness for talks is commitment to denuclearize

WASHINGTON -- The United States "will see" if North Korea's stated willingness to hold talks is a commitment to abandon its nuclear weapons program, the White House said Sunday.

A visiting North Korean official, Kim Yong-chol, told South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier in the day that Pyongyang has "enough" willingness to begin dialogue with Washington, according to Seoul's presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae.

(2nd LD) Ivanka Trump says visit to S. Korea was wonderful, hopes to come back soon

INCHEON/SEOUL -- Ivanka Trump, the daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, said Monday that she had a "wonderful" first visit to South Korea and hopes to visit the country again in the near future.

Ivanka, an advisor to the president, made the remarks as she was preparing to board a plane back to the United States at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, wrapping up her four-day trip here for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

Prosecution questions former presidential aide over 'fake' reports on Sewol sinking

SEOUL -- The prosecution questioned a former presidential security adviser Monday over allegations that he may have fabricated the time of reports on the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry to then-President Park Geun-hye to lessen her responsibility, prosecution officials said Sunday.

Kim Jang-soo, who served as chief of the National Security Office (NSO) under Park, appeared at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in the morning.

Prosecution to question former defense chief in political meddling probe

SEOUL -- Prosecutors said Monday they will question former Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin this week as part of their inquiry into suspicions that the military tried to cover up an internal probe into the cyberwarfare unit's alleged political meddling.

Kim, who served as defense chief from 2010-2014, was ordered to face interrogation as a suspect on Tuesday.

S. Korean firms seek gov't approval to visit joint factory park in N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korean companies that operated factories at the now-shuttered joint industrial park in North Korea asked the Seoul government Monday to allow their trip to the border city of Kaesong to inspect their facilities, a private task force representing the firms said.

A group of about 200 businessmen are hoping to visit the complex, which Seoul shut down in February 2016 over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, the task force said. They wish to make the trip on March 12.

Samsung affiliate ordered to sell additional stake in group's holding firm before Sept.

SEJONG -- A Samsung Group affiliate will have to sell additional stakes in the de facto holding company of South Korea's No. 1 conglomerate before September, as a merger that took place in 2015 has effectively strengthened cross-shareholding ties within the business group, the country's corporate watchdog said Monday.

In 2015, Samsung C&T Corp. was created by merging with Cheil Industries Inc., becoming the group's de facto holding firm.

Internet banking users in S. Korea continue to expand in 2017

SEOUL -- South Korea's Internet banking service rose at a fast clip in 2017 with the number of daily transactions and its value reaching record highs, central bank data showed Monday.

The number of Internet and mobile banking service users came to a record 135.05 million last year, up 10.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

(3rd LD) Samsung showcases Galaxy S9 series with stronger camera, AR features

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. on Monday showcased the new flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus smartphones, which boast improved cameras and augmented reality (AR) features.

During the showcase event on the eve of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, the South Korean tech giant unveiled the much-awaited 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus, which elevate the capabilities of smartphone cameras to a new level by adopting cutting edge technologies.

S. Korean shares open higher on institutional buying

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks opened higher Monday on increased buying by institutions.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 8.76 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,460.28 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

(Olympics) S. Korean female hockey players bid teary farewell to N. Korean teammates

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- South Korea women's ice hockey players on Monday bid a teary farewell to their North Korean teammates on the unified Korean team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, a day after they marched in together at the closing ceremony.

The historic joint hockey team -- the first unified Korean squad in any sport at any Olympics -- was assembled on Jan. 25, five days after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved an inter-Korean agreement on its formation. The South Korean team of 23 players was joined by 12 players from North Korea, with the South's head coach, Sarah Murray, in charge.

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